Identification of an Allelopathic Compound from Ailanthus Altissima (Simaroubaceae) and Characterization of Its Herbicidal Activity. Heisey, R. M. 83(2):192–200.
Identification of an Allelopathic Compound from Ailanthus Altissima (Simaroubaceae) and Characterization of Its Herbicidal Activity. [link]Paper  abstract   bibtex   
Aqueous extracts of Ailanthus altissima bark and foliage were previously shown to be toxic to other plants. Using bioassay-directed fractionation, I isolated the phytotoxic compound from A. altissima root bark and identified it to be ailanthone, a quassinoid compound having molecular mass of 376. Ailanthone was highly phytotoxic, with concentrations of 0.7 ml/L causing 50\,% inhibition of radicle elongation in a standardized bioassay with garden cress (Lepidium sativum) seeds. Ailanthone exhibited potent pre- and postemergence herbicidal activity in greenhouse trials. Postemergence activity was especially striking; even the lowest application rate (0.5 kg/ha) caused complete mortality of five of the seven plant species tested within 5 d of treatment. In contrast, the highest application rate (8 kg/ha) did not cause any detectable injury to A. altissima seedlings, indicating the presence of a protective mechanism in the producer species to prevent autotoxicity. Ailanthone was rapidly detoxified in field soil as a result of microbial activity. Applications of ailanthone equivalent to 0.5 and 4.0 kg/ha completely lost their phytotoxicity within ≤5 d when incubated in the presence of nonsterile soil. When incubated with sterile soil under identical conditions, however, ailanthone remained highly phytotoxic throughout the 21-d duration of the investigation. The high level of postemergence herbicidal activity in conjunction with its rapid biodegradation in soil suggest ailanthone may have potential for development as a natural-product herbicide.
@article{heiseyIdentificationAllelopathicCompound1996,
  title = {Identification of an Allelopathic Compound from {{Ailanthus}} Altissima ({{Simaroubaceae}}) and Characterization of Its Herbicidal Activity.},
  author = {Heisey, R. M.},
  date = {1996},
  journaltitle = {American Journal of Botany},
  volume = {83},
  pages = {192--200},
  url = {http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2445938?uid=3738920&uid=2&uid=4&sid=21104588457631},
  abstract = {Aqueous extracts of Ailanthus altissima bark and foliage were previously shown to be toxic to other plants. Using bioassay-directed fractionation, I isolated the phytotoxic compound from A. altissima root bark and identified it to be ailanthone, a quassinoid compound having molecular mass of 376. Ailanthone was highly phytotoxic, with concentrations of 0.7 ml/L causing 50\,\% inhibition of radicle elongation in a standardized bioassay with garden cress (Lepidium sativum) seeds. Ailanthone exhibited potent pre- and postemergence herbicidal activity in greenhouse trials. Postemergence activity was especially striking; even the lowest application rate (0.5 kg/ha) caused complete mortality of five of the seven plant species tested within 5 d of treatment. In contrast, the highest application rate (8 kg/ha) did not cause any detectable injury to A. altissima seedlings, indicating the presence of a protective mechanism in the producer species to prevent autotoxicity. Ailanthone was rapidly detoxified in field soil as a result of microbial activity. Applications of ailanthone equivalent to 0.5 and 4.0 kg/ha completely lost their phytotoxicity within ≤5 d when incubated in the presence of nonsterile soil. When incubated with sterile soil under identical conditions, however, ailanthone remained highly phytotoxic throughout the 21-d duration of the investigation. The high level of postemergence herbicidal activity in conjunction with its rapid biodegradation in soil suggest ailanthone may have potential for development as a natural-product herbicide.},
  keywords = {*imported-from-citeulike-INRMM,~INRMM-MiD:c-13512725,ailanthone,ailanthus-altissima,allelochemicals,allelopathy,natural-product-herbicides,phytotoxins},
  number = {2}
}
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