Next Article in Journal
Yield, Quality and Antioxidant Properties of Indian Mustard (Brassica juncea L.) in Response to Foliar Biofortification with Selenium and Iodine
Previous Article in Journal
Progress toward Understanding the Molecular Basis of Fruit Response to Hypoxia
Article Menu
Issue 4 (December) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Plants 2018, 7(4), 79;

Phytotoxicity of Essential Oils on Selected Weeds: Potential Hazard on Food Crops

Departament de Farmacologia, Facultat de Farmàcia, Universitat de València, Avd. Vicent Andrés Estellés s/n, 46100 Burjassot, Valencia, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 September 2018 / Revised: 19 September 2018 / Accepted: 20 September 2018 / Published: 22 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Phytochemicals on Crop Protection and Biotechnology)
Full-Text   |   PDF [2556 KB, uploaded 22 September 2018]   |  


The chemical composition of winter savory, peppermint, and anise essential oils, and in vitro and in vivo phytotoxic activity against weeds (Portulaca oleracea, Lolium multiflorum, and Echinochloa crus-galli) and food crops (maize, rice, and tomato), have been studied. Sixty-four compounds accounting for between 97.67–99.66% of the total essential oils were identified by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry analysis. Winter savory with carvacrol (43.34%) and thymol (23.20%) as the main compounds produced a total inhibitory effect against the seed germination of tested weed. Menthol (48.23%), menthone (23.33%), and iso-menthone (16.33%) from peppermint only showed total seed germination inhibition on L. multiflorum, whereas no significant effects were observed with trans-anethole (99.46%) from anise at all concentrations (0.125–1 µL/mL). Low doses of peppermint essential oil could be used as a sustainable alternative to synthetic agrochemicals to control L. multiflorum. The results corroborate that in vivo assays with a commercial emulsifiable concentrate need higher doses of the essential oils to reproduce previous in vitro trials. The higher in vivo phytotoxicity of winter savory essential oil constitutes an eco-friendly and less pernicious alternative to weed control. It is possible to achieve a greater in vivo phytotoxicity if less active essential oil like peppermint is included with other active excipients. View Full-Text
Keywords: winter savory; peppermint; essential oils; food crops; weed control; phytotoxicity winter savory; peppermint; essential oils; food crops; weed control; phytotoxicity

Graphical abstract

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Ibáñez, M.D.; Blázquez, M.A. Phytotoxicity of Essential Oils on Selected Weeds: Potential Hazard on Food Crops. Plants 2018, 7, 79.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Plants EISSN 2223-7747 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top