Phytotoxic Allelochemicals From Roots and Root Exudates of Leafy Spurge (Euphorbia esula L.)
Volume 1, Issue 6
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Pages 323 - 327http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/psb.1.6.3563
Authors: Bo Qin, Laura G. Perry, Corey D. Broeckling, Jiang Du, Frank R. Stermitz, Mark W. Paschke and Jorge M. Vivanco View affiliations
Invasive plants are a widespread problem but the mechanisms used by these plants to become invasive are often unknown. The production of phytotoxic natural products by invasive weeds is one mechanism by which these species may become successful competitors. Here, we conducted a bioactivity-driven fractionation of root extracts and exudates from the invasive plant leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula L.), and structurally characterized jatrophane diterpenes and ellagic acid derivatives. Ellagic acid derivatives and one of the jatrophane diterpenes, esulone A, have been previously reported from leafy spurge, but another of the jatrophane diterpenes, kasuinine B, has not. We show that these compounds are phytotoxic but affect plants in different ways, either inducing overall plant necrosis or reducing root branching and elongation.