The growth of Saccharomyces cerevisiae was completely inhibited using 2.0 µl/ml or 4.0 µl/ml of Cymbopogon citratus essential oil applied by fumigation or contact method in Sabouraud's broth medium, respectively. This oil was found also to be fungicidal at the same concentrations. The sublethal doses 1.0 and 3.0 µl/ml inhibited about 98% of yeast growth after 24 hr of incubation as compared with the control. Microscopic observations using Light Microscope (LM), Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) showed morphogenic and ultrastructure changes in the fumigated cells with 1.0 µl/ml of the oil. These changes including decrease in cell size, depressions on the surface of the cells, alteration in cell wall thickness and disruption of plasma membrane. Moreover, Ca+2, K+ and Mg+2 leakages increased from the fumigated cells and its total lipid content decreased. Also, the fatty acid composition was altered with decrease in the amount of saturated fatty acids and increase in the amount of unsaturated fatty acids. (© 2006 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)
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