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Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 35, Issue 9, pp 1129–1136 | Cite as

Lavender as a Source of Novel Plant Compounds for the Development of a Natural Herbicide

  • Timothy J. Haig
  • Terry J. Haig
  • Alexa N. Seal
  • James E. Pratley
  • Min An
  • Hanwen Wu
Article

Abstract

In a previous study, lavender (Lavandula spp.) was found to be highly phytotoxic towards annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum, ARG), a major weed of winter wheat crops in Australia. This research aimed to further explore this relationship and determine the chemical(s) responsible for the observed effect. In bioassay, it was determined that the stem and leaf extract of L. x intermedia cv. Grosso ranked highest and had the potential to reduce significantly the root growth of several plant species. An extract concentration of 10% almost completely inhibited ARG root growth. When the extract was tested for stability, there was no loss in phytotoxicity after the 256 day trial. Via bioassay-guided fractionation and chromatographic techniques, it was determined that the sub-fraction consisting of coumarin and 7-methoxycoumarin was most phytotoxic towards ARG. Chemoassays of 18 structural analogues of coumarin showed that coumarin itself was the most phytotoxic and largely responsible for the observed phytotoxicity of the extract. Soil trials were conducted using pure coumarin and the lavender extract, and in both instances, shoot length and weight were significantly reduced by post-emergence application at all concentrations evaluated.

Keywords

Annual ryegrass Coumarin Lavender Lavandula intermedia cv. Grosso Natural herbicide Phytotoxicity 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Sincere thanks go to Dr. Nigel Urwin for supplying the plant material and to David Waters, Shane Hildebrand and the late Kim Ashton who assisted with plant collection and processing. The authors also thank the Australian Research Council (ARC) for financial support.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy J. Haig
    • 1
    • 2
  • Terry J. Haig
    • 1
  • Alexa N. Seal
    • 1
    • 2
  • James E. Pratley
    • 1
    • 2
  • Min An
    • 1
    • 3
  • Hanwen Wu
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.EH Graham Centre for Agricultural InnovationIndustry and Investment NSW and Charles Sturt UniversityWagga WaggaAustralia
  2. 2.School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences, Faculty of ScienceCharles Sturt UniversityWagga WaggaAustralia
  3. 3.Environmental & Analytical Laboratories, Faculty of ScienceCharles Sturt UniversityWagga WaggaAustralia
  4. 4.Wagga Wagga Agricultural InstituteIndustry and Investment NSWPMB, Wagga WaggaAustralia

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