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J Agric Food Chem. 1999 May;47(5):2116-9.

Phytotoxins from the leaves of Laggera decurrens.

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Departments of Organic Chemistry and Plant Production, University of Gent, Belgium.


Upon biological screening of a series of African medicinal plants, substantial phytotoxic activity was found in the leaves of Laggera decurrens (Vahl.) Hepper & Wood (Asteraceae), using a Lemna minor bioassay. Bioassay-guided fractionation of the leaves led to the isolation of two physiologically active compounds: 3-hydroxythymoquinone and 5-acetoxy-2-hydroxythymol, causing death of Lemna minor in the 25-100 microM range. Symptoms were a rapidly developing chlorosis, followed by necrosis of fronds. The compounds also inhibited growth and germination of the grass weed Agrostis capillaris down to 250 microM. The mode of action of both compounds could not be elucidated, but they do not appear to be photosystem II inhibitors.

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