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J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Oct 28;57(20):9448-53. doi: 10.1021/jf902310j.

Chemical interaction in the invasiveness of cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica (L.) Beauv.).

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Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Subtropical Bioscience and Biotechnology, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa 903-0213, Japan.


From gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), numerous plant growth inhibitors were found in the rhizome and root exudates of cogongrass, one of the most problematic weeds in the world. iso-Eugenol, iso-ferulic acid, linoleic acid, ferulic acid, and vanillin were the major chemicals in the rhizome (88.1-392.2 microg/g of fresh root), while 4-acetyl-2-methoxyphenol was the principle substance (872.6 microg/plant) in the root exudates. In fields, the use of cutting and plowing reduced weed biomass and weed density of cogongrass >70%. However, the alternative invasion of beggar tick might be a problem, because its density and biomass increased 33.3 and 62.5%, respectively. Chemicals from cogongrass showed selective effects against tested invasive species. Of them, 2,4-di-tert-butylphenol was the most potent (78.3-100% of inhibition), followed by iso-eugenol and 4-acetyl-2-methoxyphenol. These compounds may play important roles in the invasiveness of cogongrass and might be promising parent constituents of synthesis to develop novel herbicides for control of invasive plants.

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