The phytotoxic potential of plants and the effect of their active components on another plant species is being explored as a potential alternative to synthetic herbicides for weed control. In the current study, we investigated the phytotoxic potential of the leaves of Dregea volubilis (L.f.) Benth. ex Hook.f. against four test plants [timothy (Phleum pratense L.), barnyard grass (Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) P. Beauv), lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.), and alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.)] and observed significant growth inhibition on those plants at concentrations >3 mg D.W. equivalent extract mL−1. A bioassay-governed purification of the D. volubilis extracts using different chromatography phases produced two growth inhibitory compounds, 3-hydroxy-α-ionone (compound 1) and 5-hydroxy-3,4-dimethyl-5-pentylfuran-2(5H)-one (compound 2). The compounds retarded the growth of barnyard grass and cress (Lepidium sativum L.) with I50 (concentration required for 50% growth suppression) values ranging from 0.098 to 0.450 mM for 3-hydroxy-α-ionone and 0.029 to 0.420 mM for 5-hydroxy-3,4-dimethyl-5-pentylfuran-2(5H)-one. Thus, the extracts and identified compounds may have the possibility to be utilized as bioagents for weed control.
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