Essential oils of catmint (Nepeta meyeri Benth.) induce oxidative stress in early seedlings of various weed species

Mutlu S., ATICI Ö., Esim N., METE E.

ACTA PHYSIOLOGIAE PLANTARUM, cilt.33, sa.3, ss.943-951, 2011 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Cilt numarası: 33 Konu: 3
  • Basım Tarihi: 2011
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1007/s11738-010-0626-3
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.943-951


The essential oils from the aerial parts of catmint (Nepeta meyeri Benth.) were analyzed by hydrodistillation with GC-MS. Fourteen compounds were identified in the yellowish essential oil of the plant, representing more than 99.07% of the oil, of which the major components were found to be 4a alpha,7 alpha,7a beta-nepetalactone (83.4%) and 4a alpha,7 alpha,7a alpha-nepetalactone (8.83%). The oils were characterized by relatively high content of oxygenated monoterpenes, and were tested on the germination and antioxidative systems in early seedlings of seven weed species (Amaranthus retroflexus L., Bromus danthoniae Trin., Bromus intermedius Guss., Chenopodium album L., Cynodon dactylon L., Lactuca serriola L., and Portulaca oleracea L.) and autotoxicity. The essential oil of N. meyeri inhibited seed germination by more than 50% in three weed species (B. danthoniae, B. intermedius, and L. serriola) when applied at a concentration of 0.01%. When the same oils were applied at 0.02% concentration, the inhibition of germination was more than 70% in two weeds (C. album and C. dactylon) and was 100% in four weeds (A. retroflexus, B. danthoniae, B. intermedius, and L. serriola). The essential oils increased CAT activity in all the weed species and decreased SOD activity, except in A. retroflexus. POX activity did not exhibit a revealing situation in the weed species tested. The essential oils increased the level of lipid peroxidation and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) concentration in all the weeds studied. Our results show that the essential oils of N. meyeri have an important phytotoxic effect on seed germination and, consequently, seedling growth by exhausting antioxidative system of the weeds. The phytotoxic activity of the essential oils may be attributed to their relatively high content of oxygenated monoterpenes, especially 4a alpha,7 alpha,7a beta-nepetalactone. It can be suggest that the essential oils of N. meyeri have the potential to be used as a bioherbicide.