Phenolic Metabolites in Leaves of the Invasive Shrub, Lonicera maackii, and Their Potential Phytotoxic and Anti-Herbivore Effects

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Lonicera maackii is an invasive shrub in North America for which allelopathic effects toward other plants or herbivores have been suspected. We characterized the major phenolic metabolites present in methanol extracts of L. maackii leaves. In addition, we examined the effects of methanol–water extracts of L. maackii leaves on seed germination of a target plant species and on feeding preference and growth rate of a generalist insect herbivore. A total of 13 individual major and minor compounds were detected in crude leaf extracts by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to electronspray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS). Extracts were dominated by two major flavones, apigenin and luteolin, and their glucoside derivatives, apigenin-7-glucoside and luteolin-7-glucoside. Quantities of these compounds, along with chlorogenic acid, varied between two sampling points. Leaf extracts that contained these compounds were inhibitory to seed germination of Arabidopsis thaliana. In addition, treatment of artificial diet with leaf extracts deterred feeding of the generalist herbivore, Spodoptera exigua, in choice experiments but had no effect on growth rate in short-term no-choice bioassays. Purified apigenin tended to deter feeding by S. exigua and inhibited seed germination of A. thaliana. We conclude that leaves of L. maackiicontain phenolic compounds, including apigenin and chlorogenic acid, capable of having biological effects on other plants and insects.



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