Allelopathic potential of two sesquiterpene lactones from Magnolia grandiflora L.
ABSTRACT The allelopathic effects of the two sesquiterpene lactones, costunolide and parthenolide, isolated from the leaves of Magnolia grandiflora L. were evaluated on the wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.), radish (Raphanus sativus L.) and onion (Allium cepa L.). Seed germination of the test species was significantly reduced at 500 μg/ml by both compounds. Both sesquiterpenes showed pronounced inhibition of root length of the test species and the inhibitory effect was concentration-dependent. In addition, shoot growth of the four species was significantly inhibited at all the concentrations tested (10–500 μg/ml). Parthenolide reduced germination and inhibited seedling growth more than costunolide. Inhibition of root growth was generally greater than that of shoot growth. The results encourage the use of these sesquiterpenes as models for development of new herbicides.