, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 131–138

o-Coumaric acid from invasive Eupatorium adenophorum is a potent phytotoxin

Research Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00049-012-0105-y

Cite this article as:
Zheng, G., jia, Y., Zhao, X. et al. Chemoecology (2012) 22: 131. doi:10.1007/s00049-012-0105-y


A phytochemical study of the invasive Eupatorium adenophorum indicated that the plant was rich in a phenolic compound o-coumaric acid (or 2-hydroxycoumaric acid). Biological investigations with the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and crop plants showed that o-coumaric acid strongly inhibited seed germination, plant growth and root elongation, reduced the photosynthesis in old leaves, and induced the root cell death and the expression of genes related to senescence, oxidative stress, and systemic acquired resistance. The phytotoxic effects of o-coumaric acid exhibit selectivity between under- and above-ground parts of test plants and between E. adenophorum and other plants. These results indicate that o-coumaric acid is a potent toxin that might play an important role in the competition of E. adenophorum with its neighboring plants during its invasion and establishment.


Phytotoxin Arabidopsis thaliana Germination inhibition Growth inhibition Root cell death Leaf senescence 

Supplementary material

49_2012_105_MOESM1_ESM.doc (17.4 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 17,783 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Germplasm Bank of Wild Species, Kunming Institute of BotanyChinese Academy of SciencesKunmingChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Phytochemistry and Plant Resources in West China, Kunming Institute of BotanyChinese Academy of SciencesKunmingChina

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