Mode of Action of Plant Natural Products II

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Phytochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 January 2023) | Viewed by 2190

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Locality Feo di Vito, Department AGRARIA, University Mediterranea of Reggio Calabria, 89124 Reggio Calabria, Italy
Interests: allelopathy; secondary metabolites; essential oils; weed management; plant nutrition; metabolomics; mode of action; chemical interaction; bio-herbicides
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Guest Editor
Instituto Agroforestal Mediterráneo (IAM), Universitat Politècnica de València, Camino de Vera s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain
Interests: natural products; essential oils; plant extracts; weed biology; weed management; bioherbicides; allelopathy; biostimulants; plant stress
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Locality Campus Lagoas-Marcosende, Dpt. Plant Biology and Soil Science, Universidade de Vigo., 36310 Vigo, Spain
Interests: secondary metabolites; mode of action; bioherbicides; allelopathy; weed management; plant stress; climate change
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Throughout the evolutionary process, plants have developed biosynthetic pathways to synthesize and accumulate a great variety of secondary metabolites, many of which play a fundamental role in the interactions between living organisms in the natural environment. The specificity of these responses is especially noteworthy, usually showing a differential response depending on the target species. Although synthetic herbicides have been used to eliminate unwanted species in agricultural ecosystems for a century, their massive and indiscriminate use in recent decades has increased soil, air and water pollution, and has induced the evolution of resistant weeds that have been exponentially increasing in the last thirty years. Therefore, the study of natural compounds belonging to different chemical families will increase the chances of finding an effective alternative to synthetic herbicides. As an added value, it should be noted that these molecules tend to play more than one role in the metabolism of the producer plant, so there is a greater probability of finding compounds that have multiple sites of action, valorizing their bioherbicidal capacity.

Knowing the mode of action of phytochemical substances regulating plant growth will allow their use in the control of weeds in the framework of sustainable agriculture, and will provide the industry with new modes of action for the preparation of organic compounds that are more environmentally friendly, which could substitute the traditional herbicides and help to solve the problem of resistance because of their new target sites.

Topics of interest for this Special Issue include but are not limited to:

  • Allelopathy;
  • Isolation and identification of natural compounds from plants with herbicidal activity;
  • Characterization of the primary and secondary effects of plant and plant-derived natural compounds;
  • Morphological, physiological, biochemical and molecular perspectives to study the specific modes of action of natural products;
  • Identification of the targets and modes of action of pure natural molecules and/or mixtures on weeds’ physiology and metabolism;
  • Use of natural products as repellent agents against parasites (e.g., Cuscuta; Orobanche sp.; Striga sp.);
  • Use of -omics (genomics, proteomics, metabolomics) technologies to study the modes of action of secondary metabolites;
  • Synthesis of ecofriendly natural-product-like compounds with biological activity against weeds.

Dr. Fabrizio Araniti
Dr. Mercedes Verdeguer
Dr. Adela M. Sánchez Moreiras
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Plants is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • secondary metabolites
  • mode of action
  • natural compounds as bioherbicides
  • allelopathy
  • essential oils in crop protection
  • allelopathic crops
  • botanical herbicide
  • phytotoxins
  • natural herbicide
  • biological control
  • omics

Published Papers (1 paper)

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13 pages, 2247 KiB  
Short-Term Effects of Trans-Cinnamic Acid on the Metabolism of Zea mays L. Roots
by David López-González, Leonardo Bruno, Carla Díaz-Tielas, Antonio Lupini, Meriem Miyassa Aci, Emanuela Talarico, Maria Letizia Madeo, Antonella Muto, Adela M. Sánchez-Moreiras and Fabrizio Araniti
Plants 2023, 12(1), 189; - 02 Jan 2023
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trans-Cinnamic acid is a phenolic compound widely studied in plant metabolism due to its importance in regulating different plant processes. Previous studies on maize plants showed that this compound could affect plant growth and causes metabolic changes in the leaves when applied. [...] Read more.
trans-Cinnamic acid is a phenolic compound widely studied in plant metabolism due to its importance in regulating different plant processes. Previous studies on maize plants showed that this compound could affect plant growth and causes metabolic changes in the leaves when applied. However, its effects on root metabolism are not well known. This study analyses the short-term effect of trans-cinnamic acid on the morphology of vascular bundle elements and metabolism in maize roots. At short times (between 6 and 12 h), there is a reduction in the content of many amino acids which may be associated with the altered nitrogen uptake observed in earlier work. In addition, the compound caused an alteration of the vascular bundles at 48 h and seemed to have changed the metabolism in roots to favor lignin and galactose synthesis. The results obtained complement those previously carried out on maize plants, demonstrating that in the short term trans-cinnamic acid can trigger stress-coping processes in the treated plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mode of Action of Plant Natural Products II)
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