Journal of Pest Science

, Volume 88, Issue 1, pp 209–218 | Cite as

Herbicidal activity of eugenol towards some grassy and broad-leaved weeds

  • Nitina Ahuja
  • Daizy R. Batish
  • Harminder Pal Singh
  • Ravinder K. Kohli
Original Paper


The present study investigated the phytotoxic potential of eugenol, a major component from the essential oil of clove [Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merrill and Perry], towards four grassy [Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) Beauv., Phalaris minor Retz., Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers. and Leptochloa chinensis (L.) Nees] and four broad-leaved [Ageratum conyziodes L., Commelina benghalensis L., Cassia occidentalis L. and Bidens pilosa L.] weeds. The effect of eugenol (50–1,000 μM) on the growth and development of seedlings after 7 days of treatment was studied in terms of percent germination, root and shoot length, total chlorophyll content and cellular respiration. Eugenol at 1,000 μM caused 55–70 and 42–90 % decrease in percent germination in grassy and broad-leaved weeds, respectively. Likewise, root length declined by 55–90 and 57–71 %, whereas shoot length was decreased by 50–83 and 36–73 % in grassy and broad-leaved weeds, respectively, in response to 1,000 μM eugenol. The observed reduction in the plant growth was accompanied by a decline in the total chlorophyll content (37–53 %) and cellular respiration (36–57 %) in the test plants. However, the inhibitory effect was stronger towards grassy weeds than towards the broad-leaved ones. Thus, future research can be focused on developing eugenol, a natural plant product, as an environmentally safe herbicide in replacement to the harmful chemical herbicides.


Eugenol Monoterpene Phytotoxicity Dose–response bioassay Bioherbicide 



N. Ahuja is thankful to the University Grants Commission, India, for the financial support in the form of fellowship.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nitina Ahuja
    • 1
  • Daizy R. Batish
    • 1
  • Harminder Pal Singh
    • 2
  • Ravinder K. Kohli
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyPanjab UniversityChandigarhIndia
  2. 2.Department of Environment StudiesPanjab UniversityChandigarhIndia

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