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Phytotoxins as potential herbicides


Phytotoxins are produced in various culture media by many fungi that are pathogenic to weeds. These phytotoxins belong to a wide array of chemical substances including sesquiterpenoids, sesterterpenoids, diketopiperazines, peptides, spirocyclic lactams, isocoumarins, and polyketides. In most cases, the phytotoxin belongs to a family of related compounds produced by the fungus. These related compounds may or may not be phytotoxins. Phytotoxin production, in some cases, is optimized by the addition of a host extract to the culture medium. Biological activity is usually observed in a range of concentrations from 10−3 to 10−6 M. The concept of using these molecules, derivatives thereof, or related compounds as herbicides should be explored.

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Strobel, G., Kenfield, D., Bunkers, G. et al. Phytotoxins as potential herbicides. Experientia 47, 819–826 (1991).

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Key words

  • Phytotoxins
  • herbicides
  • weeds
  • fungi
  • Cochliobolus
  • Drechslera
  • Phoma
  • Alternaria