Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 276–284 | Cite as

Roots of the Invasive Species Carduus nutans L. and C. acanthoides L. Produce Large Amounts of Aplotaxene, a Possible Allelochemical

  • Ferdinando M. L. Silva
  • Mateus A. Donega
  • Antonio L. Cerdeira
  • Natália Corniani
  • Edivaldo D. Velini
  • Charles L. Cantrell
  • Franck E. Dayan
  • Mariana N. Coelho
  • Katriona Shea
  • Stephen O. Duke
Article

Abstract

The invasive thistle Carduus nutans has been reported to be allelopathic, yet no allelochemicals have been identified from the species. In a search for allelochemicals from C. nutans and the closely related invasive species C. acanthoides, bioassay-guided fractionation of roots and leaves of each species were conducted. Only dichloromethane extracts of the roots of both species contained a phytotoxin (aplotaxene, (Z,Z,Z)-heptadeca-1,8,11,14-tetraene) with sufficient total activity to potentially act as an allelochemical. Aplotaxene made up 0.44 % of the weight of greenhouse-grown C. acanthoides roots (ca. 20 mM in the plant) and was not found in leaves of either species. It inhibited growth of lettuce 50 % (I50) in soil at a concentration of ca. 0.5 mg g−1 of dry soil (ca. 6.5 mM in soil moisture). These values gave a total activity in soil value (molar concentration in the plant divided by the molarity required for 50 % growth inhibition in soil = 3.08) similar to those of some established allelochemicals. The aplotaxene I50 for duckweed (Lemna paucicostata) in nutrient solution was less than 0.333 mM, and the compound caused cellular leakage of cucumber cotyledon discs in darkness and light at similar concentrations. Soil in which C. acanthoides had grown contained aplotaxene at a lower concentration than necessary for biological activity in our short-term soil bioassays, but these levels might have activity over longer periods of time and might be an underestimate of concentrations in undisturbed and/or rhizosphere soil.

Keywords

Allelochemical Allelopathy Aplotaxene Carduus nutans Carduus acanthoides Phytotoxin 

Supplementary material

10886_2014_390_MOESM1_ESM.docx (315 kb)
Fig. S-1(DOCX 314 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York (outside the USA) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ferdinando M. L. Silva
    • 2
  • Mateus A. Donega
    • 3
  • Antonio L. Cerdeira
    • 4
  • Natália Corniani
    • 2
  • Edivaldo D. Velini
    • 2
  • Charles L. Cantrell
    • 1
  • Franck E. Dayan
    • 1
  • Mariana N. Coelho
    • 5
  • Katriona Shea
    • 6
  • Stephen O. Duke
    • 1
  1. 1.NPURU, USDA, ARSUniversityUSA
  2. 2.Faculty of Agronomic Sciences, Experimental Station Lageado, Laboratory of Weed ScienceSão Paulo State UniversityBotucatuBrazil
  3. 3.Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz, Departamento de Produção VegetalUniversidade de São PauloPiracicabaBrazil
  4. 4.Brazilian Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, EMBRAPA/EnvironmentJaguariúnaBrazil
  5. 5.Faculdade de FarmáciaUniversidade Federal FluminenseNiteróiBrazil
  6. 6.Department of Biology, 208 Mueller LaboratoryThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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