Phytotoxic activity of crop residues from Burdock and an active substance

Masahiko Suzuki, Arihiro Iwasaki, Kiyotake Suenaga, Hisashi Kato-Noguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Problems related to weed management such as outbreaks of herbicide-resistant weeds have recently increased. An interesting approach to such problems is to use plant materials with phytotoxic activity. Burdock (Arctium lappa L.) is a biennial herb belonging to Asteraceae and is cultivated in several countries. The present study investigated the phytotoxic activity of burdock and its active substances. Extracts of both burdock leaves and roots inhibited the shoot and root growth of cress and barnyard grass, where the level of inhibition increased with increasing extract concentration. The leaf extracts had 2.0–2.5 times higher activity than the root extracts. Bioassay-guided separations of the leaf extracts led to isolation of a phytotoxic substance, onopordopicrin. Onopordopicrin significantly inhibited the shoot and root growth of cress and barnyard grass. The concentrations of the substance required for 50% growth inhibition were 0.27 and 0.26 mM for cress shoots and roots, respectively, and 1.86 and 0.35 mM for barnyard grass shoots and roots, respectively. The present results suggest that burdock leaves have high phytotoxic activity and onopordopicrin may play a major role in the activity. Burdock leaves may be a good resource for weed management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)877-882
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Environmental Science and Health - Part B Pesticides, Food Contaminants, and Agricultural Wastes
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Nov 2


  • Arctium lappa
  • Asteraceae
  • onopordopicrin
  • phytotoxic substance
  • plant growth inhibition
  • weed management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Pollution


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