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Open AccessArticle

Cytisus scoparius and Ulex europaeus Produce Volatile Organic Compounds with Powerful Synergistic Herbicidal Effects

1
Department of Plant Biology and Soil Science, Faculty of Biology, University of Vigo, 36310 Vigo, Spain
2
CITACA, Agri-Food Research and Transfer Cluster, Campus da Auga, University of Vigo, 32004-Ourense, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: María Amparo Blázquez
Molecules 2019, 24(24), 4539; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24244539
Received: 30 October 2019 / Revised: 2 December 2019 / Accepted: 3 December 2019 / Published: 11 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Essential Oils in Weed Control and Food Preservation)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: allelochemicals; gorse; phytotoxicity; reversibility; Scotch broom; synergism; weed control allelochemicals; gorse; phytotoxicity; reversibility; Scotch broom; synergism; weed control
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pardo-Muras, M.; G. Puig, C.; Pedrol, N. Cytisus scoparius and Ulex europaeus Produce Volatile Organic Compounds with Powerful Synergistic Herbicidal Effects. Molecules 2019, 24, 4539.

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