Allelopathy of Cold Water Extracts from Origanum vulgare ssp. vulgare L.


Secondary metabolites in medicinal plants could lead to discovery of new classes of herbicides. Recently aromatic plants have gained interest as a source of allelopathic secondary metabolites. Origanum vulgare ssp. vulgare L. infusions in hot water are used in folk medicine and possess proved beneficial biological activity. Plant-to-plant variability of metabolites due to genetic heterogeneity is established in Lamiaceae family. From this point of view, studies on plants from different geographic regions might reveal important sources of variability. The objective of this study was to evaluate allelopathic activity of cold water extracts made from the aerial parts of O. vulgare ssp. vulgare growing wild in Northeast Bulgaria in laboratory conditions. The allelopathic effect was evaluated using root elongation test and Allium cepa-test. Oregano extracts (17.5 g/l, 52.5 g/l) significantly decreased root length of Triticum aestivum L. (P ≤ 0.001). The root growth reduction could serve as a sign for presence of water soluble allelopathic secondary metabolites in the plant tested. Oregano (3.5 g/l) inhibited cell division in Allium root meristematic cells. The decline of the mitotic index indicates the occurrence of a cytotoxic effect. Oregano induced abnormalities in mitotic and interphase cells, so can be also considered as genotoxic. The observed macroscopic and microscopic effects of tested extracts indicated presence of water soluble allelochemicals in O. vulgare ssp. vulgare. This characteristic could be further studied as a possibility to be used in weed management programs.

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Dragoeva, A. , Koleva, V. , Nanova, Z. and Kaschieva, M. (2014) Allelopathy of Cold Water Extracts from Origanum vulgare ssp. vulgare L.. Journal of Agricultural Chemistry and Environment, 3, 144-150. doi: 10.4236/jacen.2014.34017.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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