Phytochemical analysis and effect of the essential oil of Psidium L. species on the initial development and mitotic activity of plants

  • Loren Cristina Vasconcelos
  • Esdras de Souza Santos
  • Carolina de Oliveira Bernardes
  • Marcia Flores da Silva Ferreira
  • Adésio Ferreira
  • Amélia Carlos Tuler
  • José Augusto Macedo Carvalho
  • Patrícia Fontes Pinheiro
  • Milene Miranda Praça-FontesEmail author
Research Article


The use of allelopathic compounds is an alternative for weeds control, since they present low toxicity when compared with the synthetic herbicides, that may cause several damages, as the contamination of the environment. Our objective was to determine the chemical composition and allelopathic properties of the essential oils of Psidium cattleianum, P. myrtoides, P. friedrichsthalianum, and P. gaudichaudianum on the germination and root growth of Lactuca sativa and Sorghum bicolor, and to evaluate their action on the cell cycle of root meristematic cells of L. sativa. The main compound found in all the studied species was (E)-caryophyllene (P. cattleianum—23.4 %; P. myrtoides—19.3%; P. friedrichsthalianum—24.6% and P. gaudichaudianum—17.0%). The different essential oils were tested at different concentrations on L. sativa and S. bicolor, reducing germination, germination speed index, and root and shoot growth of lettuce and sorghum seedlings. The cytotoxicity and aneugenic potential of these oils were evidenced by the reduction of the mitotic index and increase of the frequency of chromosomal alterations in L. sativa. The essential oils of the species of Psidium studied have potential to be used in weeds control.


Allelopathy Cytotoxicity Myrtaceae Phytotoxicity Psidium Natural herbicides 


Funding information

The authors thank the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq, Brasília – DF, Brazil), Foundation for Research Support in Espírito Santo (FAPES, Vitória – ES, Brazil), and Coordination of Improvement of Higher Level Personnel (CAPES, Brasília – DF, Brazil) for financial support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Loren Cristina Vasconcelos
    • 1
  • Esdras de Souza Santos
    • 1
  • Carolina de Oliveira Bernardes
    • 1
  • Marcia Flores da Silva Ferreira
    • 2
  • Adésio Ferreira
    • 2
  • Amélia Carlos Tuler
    • 3
  • José Augusto Macedo Carvalho
    • 4
  • Patrícia Fontes Pinheiro
    • 4
  • Milene Miranda Praça-Fontes
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of BiologyFederal University of the Espírito Santo, Alto UniversitárioAlegreBrazil
  2. 2.Department of AgronomyFederal University of the Espírito Santo, Alto UniversitárioAlegreBrazil
  3. 3.National School of Tropical BotanyRio de Janeiro Botanical Garden Research InstituteRio de JaneiroBrazil
  4. 4.Department of Chemistry and PhysicsFederal University of the Espírito Santo, Alto UniversitárioAlegreBrazil

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