Nematicidal potential of Artemisia annua and its main metabolites
Nematotoxic effect of an aqueous extract of Artemisia annua and its components caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid (5-caffeoylquinic acid, 5-CQA), artemisinin and the related semi-synthetic artesunate, was investigated on the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita and the potato cyst nematode Globodera rostochiensis and on the virus-vector dagger nematode Xiphinema index. Juveniles of M. incognita and G. rostochiensis and females of X. index were exposed to 500, 250 and 125 μl ml−1 solutions of the A. annua aqueous extract, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid and artesunate and to 50 μl ml−1 solution of artemisinin for 2, 4, 8 and 24 h. Egg masses of M. incognita and cysts of G. rostochiensis were exposed for 24, 48, 96 h and 1 or 2 weeks only to the extract solutions. Aqueous extract was highly effective on G. rostochiensis juveniles, whereas M. incognita juveniles were affected only at long exposure times. Adversely, egg hatch inhibition was strong on M. incognita and poor or minimal on G. rostochiensis. Females of X. index were sensitive only to long exposures to the highest extract concentration. Both caffeic and chlorogenic acid did not affect juveniles of M. incognita but were highly active on G. rostochiensis juveniles and X. index females even at the lowest concentration. Artesunate toxicity was almost zero on M. incognita and low on X. index females, but high on G. rostochiensis juveniles. Artemisinin solution was lethal to more than 50 % of G. rostochiensis juveniles within 24 h, but did not affect M. incognita juveniles and X. index females. Results suggest different roles of the tested compounds in the biocidal activity on each target nematode species. The extract of A. annua and its main phytochemicals seem to have a potential to be developed into new nematicidal formulates, though their activity should be validated in the soil.
KeywordsArtemisia annua Artemisinin Artesunate Chlorogenic acids Nematicides Meloidogyne incognita Xiphinema index Globodera rostochiensis
This research was financially supported by Regione Puglia under “Progetto Strategico CIP PS_070”. T. Carbonara acknowledges Regione Puglia for financial support in a form of a grant. The Authors are also grateful to Dr. F. Grasso and Dr. M. Scarcella (CRA-Istituto Sperimentale per i Tabacchi, Monteroni, Lecce) for valuable assistance to grow A. annua plants. Thanks are also due to Prof. F.P. Fanizzi (University of Salento, Lecce) for valuable discussion.
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