Allopathic potential of essential oil extracts on weeds germination and seedlings growth in sustainable agriculture: the phytochemical study of Tunisia’s two Melaleucaspecies

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Research Articles | Published:

Print ISSN : 0970-4078.
Online ISSN : 2229-4473.
Pub Email:
Doi: 10.1007/s42535-023-00578-5
First Page: 165
Last Page: 172
Views: 1123

Keywords: Essential oil, n Melaleuca rugulosa Craven, n Melaleuca ericifolia Sm, 1,8-cineole, Phytotoxicity


In continuation of the search of eco-friendly and safe alternatives for chemical pesticide for weeds management, essential oils (EOs) may be a good candidate. The current work conducted on the chemical composition of EOs extracted from leaves of two Melaleuca species: Melaleuca ericifolia Sm and Melaleuca rugulosa Craven and in second step on the assessement of their phytotoxic potential against germination and seedling growth of Sinapis arvensis, Phalaris canariensis and Triticum durum in pre-emergence stage. In post emergence stage, EOs were applied by spraying at different doses and their physiological effects on membrane integrity, tissue hydration, malondialdehyde and proline contents were assessed.

Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry showed that EOs were overwhelmingly monoterpenoid in character. The oxygenated monoterpene fraction occupied (84.48–93.84%) of the total mainly represented by 1,8-cineole as the major compound (83.55 -92.35%). Despite that, M. ericifolia EOs seem to be more richen, distinguished relatively by the variability in minor components. Germination and seedling growth were strongly inhibited under EOs treatment in a rate dose-dependent way, and all tested plants displayed different degree of sensitivity toward EOs.

On post-emergence stage, EOs induces an irreversible phytotoxic effects, leaf chlorosis and necrosis, stem breaking and complete wilting of all tested herbs. Similarly, a decrease in relative water content, an increase of relative electrolyte leakage percentage and levels of proline and malondialdehyde contents, explain their significant phytotoxic potential.

Thus, tested Melaleuca EOs inhibited germination and growth of tested herbs in pre-emergence and post emergence stage, therefore Melaleuca EOs shows potential towards weed management. In the light of our results, M. rugulosa and M. ericifolia EOs have showed a great potential to be useful in agriculture.

Essential oil, n                     Melaleuca rugulosa Craven, n                     Melaleuca ericifolia Sm, 1,8-cineole, Phytotoxicity

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Author Information

Khedhri Sana
Laboratory of Management and Valorization of Forest Resources, National Institute of Researches on Rural Engineering, Water and Forests, Ariana, Tunisia

Khammassi Marwa
Laboratory of Management and Valorization of Forest Resources, National Institute of Researches on Rural Engineering, Water and Forests, Ariana, Tunisia

Amri Ismail
Laboratory of Management and Valorization of Forest Resources, National Institute of Researches on Rural Engineering, Water and Forests, Ariana, Tunisia