Phytotoxic activity of Chinese violet (Asystasia gangetica (L.) T. Anderson) and two phytotoxic substances.
Chinese violet (Asystasia gangetica (L.) T. Anderson) is a perennial invasive weed belonging to Acanthaceae. Leaves of this weed have been suggested to possess phytotoxic activity. However, phytotoxic substances in this weed have not yet been reported. Therefore, the present study investigated phytotoxic activity of Chinese violet extracts and phytotoxic substances. The extracts of Chinese violet leaves inhibited the root and shoot growth of cress, lettuce, alfalfa, barnyard grass, ryegrass, and timothy, where the level of inhibition increased with increasing extract concentrations. Bioassay-guided separations of the extracts led to isolation of two phytotoxic substances, indole-3-carboxaldehyde and (6R,9S)-3-oxo-α-ionol. Indole-3-carboxaldehyde significantly inhibited the root and shoot growth of cress at concentrations ≥100 and 30 µmol L-1, respectively, and concentrations of the substance required for 50% growth inhibition were 210 and 127 µmol L-1 for cress roots and shoots, respectively. The other substance, (6R,9S)-3-oxo-α-ionol, was reported to have strongly inhibited cress roots and shoots. The present results suggest that Chinese violet contains two phytotoxic substances indole-3-carboxaldehyde and (6R,9S)-3-oxo-α-ionol, and those substances may play an important role in the phytotoxic activity of Chinese violet.