Cytisus scoparius and Ulex europaeus produce volatile organic compounds with powerful synergistic herbicidal effects
UNIVERSAL IDENTIFIER: http://hdl.handle.net/11093/1578
EDITED VERSION: https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/24/24/4539
UNESCO SUBJECT: 3103.15 Control de Malezas ; 2417.19 Fisiología Vegetal ; 5312.01 Agricultura, Silvicultura, Pesca
DOCUMENT TYPE: article
New herbicides based on natural products are claimed to address weed resistance and environmental concerns related to synthetic herbicides. In our previous studies, certain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) produced by Ulex europaeus and Cytisus scoparius were argued to be responsible for the phytotoxicity of both shrub species. Interactions among VOCs were hypothesized to explain the inconsistency between the effects of the identified pure compounds and those naturally emitted from fresh plant material. In this work, eugenol, verbenone, terpinen-4-ol, α-terpineol, and linalool were assayed as binary mixtures of Amaranthus retroflexus and Digitaria sanguinalis. Powerful synergistic inhibitory effects were revealed for germination and early growth. Only 3.1 ppm of verbenone was enough to inhibit A. retroflexus germination when paired to other VOCs. Eugenol was capable of exacerbating the effects of terpinen-4-ol on A. retroflexus, even though it was innocuous when acting alone at 12.5 ppm. The verbenone and linalool pair produced very significant synergistic effects in terms of D. sanguinalis germination. The synergistic effects were predominantly irreversible for D. sanguinalis, since seeds exposed to paired VOCs were unable to recover their germination capacity after removing the phytotoxins or produced damaged seedlings. Both shrub species have been revealed as sources of natural herbicide molecules, with promising synergistic modes of action that deserve to be studied in depth.
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