The aim of the study was to investigate the micromorphology of Mentha pulegium leaves and flowers harvested in three different Sicilian (Italy) areas with peculiar pedo-climatic conditions, and to characterize the phytochemical profile, the phytotoxic activity, and the eco-compatibility of their essential oils (EOs) for potential use as safe bioherbicides. Light microscopy (LM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) highlighted that M. pulegium indumentum consists of non-glandular and glandular trichomes of different types. Peltate trichomes of plants from the different sites showed few significant differences in dimension and abundance, but they were characterized by a surprisingly high number of secretory cells both in leaves and flowers. Phytochemical analyses showed that oxygenated monoterpenes were the most abundant class in all the EOs investigated (92.2–97.7%), but two different chemotypes, pulegone/isomenthone and piperitone/isomenthone, were found. The complex of morphological and phytochemical data indicates that soil salinity strongly affects the expression of the toxic metabolite pulegone, rather than the EO yield. Phytotoxicity tests showed a moderate activity of EOs against the selected species as confirmed by α-amylase assay. Moreover, the low toxicity on brine shrimp provided a rationale for the possible use of investigated EOs as eco-friendly herbicides.

Mentha pulegium l.: A plant underestimated for its toxicity to be recovered from the perspective of the circular economy

Caputo L.;De Feo V.;
2021-01-01

Abstract

The aim of the study was to investigate the micromorphology of Mentha pulegium leaves and flowers harvested in three different Sicilian (Italy) areas with peculiar pedo-climatic conditions, and to characterize the phytochemical profile, the phytotoxic activity, and the eco-compatibility of their essential oils (EOs) for potential use as safe bioherbicides. Light microscopy (LM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) highlighted that M. pulegium indumentum consists of non-glandular and glandular trichomes of different types. Peltate trichomes of plants from the different sites showed few significant differences in dimension and abundance, but they were characterized by a surprisingly high number of secretory cells both in leaves and flowers. Phytochemical analyses showed that oxygenated monoterpenes were the most abundant class in all the EOs investigated (92.2–97.7%), but two different chemotypes, pulegone/isomenthone and piperitone/isomenthone, were found. The complex of morphological and phytochemical data indicates that soil salinity strongly affects the expression of the toxic metabolite pulegone, rather than the EO yield. Phytotoxicity tests showed a moderate activity of EOs against the selected species as confirmed by α-amylase assay. Moreover, the low toxicity on brine shrimp provided a rationale for the possible use of investigated EOs as eco-friendly herbicides.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4774469
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