Phytotoxic effects of Cerbera manghas L. leaf extracts on seedling elongation of four monocot and four dicot test species

Ichsan Nurul Bari, Hisashi Kato-Noguchi


Exploration of allelochemicals with phytotoxic effects is intended to minimize a current dependency on synthetic herbicides in weed management. Several allelochemicals from the tropical tree Cerbera manghas (sea mango) have been reported as termiticides and bactericides. The present study investigated possible phytotoxic effects of C. manghas leaf extracts under laboratory conditions. Four monocots: barnyard grass (Echinochloa crus-galli), foxtail fescue (Vulpia myuros), Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum), and timothy (Phleum pratense) and four dicots: alfalfa (Medicago sativa), garden cress (Lepidium sativum), lettuce (Lactuca sativa), and rapeseed (Brassica napus) were used as test species. Elongation of both shoots and roots of seedlings was measured to assess any phytotoxic effects. The results showed that the sensitivities of shoots and roots were different between the test species, and the inhibition of seedling elongation significantly increased with increasing concentration of leaf extracts of C. manghas for all the test species. The IC50 (50% inhibitory concentration) values showed that 8.50–32.30 and 4.26–34.67 mg dry weight equivalent extract mL−1 of C. manghas inhibited seedling elongation by 50%, for shoots and roots respectively. Isolation and identification of the phytotoxic substances from C. manghas are suggested for future investigation.


Cerbera manghas L.; phytotoxic effects; seedling elongation; inhibition; weed control

Full Text:



Duke SO. Biotechnology: herbicide-resistant crops. In: van Alfen NK, editor. Encyclopedia of agriculture and food systems. Vol. 2. London: Academic Press, Inc.; 2014. p. 94–116.

Pimentel D, Burgess M. Environmental and economic costs of the application of pesticides primarily in the United States. In: Pimentel D, Peshin R, editors. Integrated pest management. Dordrecht: Springer; 2014. p. 47–71.

Bhadoria PBS. Allelopathy: a natural way towards weed management. American Journal of Experimental Agriculture. 2011;1:7–20.

Rice EL. Allelopathy. 2nd ed. Orlando, FL: Academic Press, Inc.; 1984.

Cheng F, Cheng Z. Research progress on the use of plant allelopathy in agriculture and the physiological and ecological mechanisms of allelopathy. Front Plant Sci. 2015;6:1020.

Khalid S, Ahmad T, Shad R. Use of allelopathy in agriculture. Asian J Plant Sci. 2002;1:292–297.

Scott S, Thomas C. Poisonous plants of paradise: first aid and medical treatment of injuries from Hawaii’s plants. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press; 2000.

Arifin HS, Nakagoshi N. Landscape ecology and urban biodiversity in tropical Indonesian cities. Landscape and Ecological Engineering. 2011;7:33–43.

Xiaopo Z, Yue-hu P, Ming-sheng L, Sheng-li K, Jun-qing Z. Chemical constituents from the leaves of Cerbera manghas. Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2010;3:109–111.

Bandaranayake WM. Bioactivities, bioactive compounds and chemical constituents of mangrove plants. Wetl Ecol Manag. 2002;10:421–452.

Zhou J, Xie G, Yan X. Encyclopedia of traditional Chinese medicines – molecular structures, pharmacological activities, natural sources and applications. Berlin: Springer; 2011.

Xiaopo Z, Sheng Liu M, Hu Pei Y, Qing Zhang J, Li Kang S. Phenylpropionic acid derivates from the bark of Cerbera manghas. Fitoterapia. 2010;81:852–854.

Göltenboth F, Schoppe S. Ecology of insular Southeast Asia – the Indonesian Archipelago. Amsterdam: Elsevier; 2006.

Jeong HY, Sung GH, Kim JH, Yoon JY, Yang Y, Park JG, et al. Syk and Src are major pharmacological targets of a Cerbera manghas methanol extract with kaempferol-based anti-inflammatory activity. J Ethnopharmacol. 2014;151:960–969.

Hossain MA, Islam MA, Sarker S, Rahman M, Siraj MA. Assessment of phytochemical and pharmacological properties of ethanolic extract of Cerbera manghas L. leaves. International Research Journal of Pharmacy. 2013;4:120–123.

Ong HC, Silitonga AS, Mahlia TMI, Masjukia HH, Chonga WT. Investigation of biodiesel production from Cerbera manghas biofuel sources. Energy Procedia. 2014;61:436–439.

Tarmadi D, Himmi SK, Yusuf S. The efficacy of the oleic acid isolated from Cerbera manghas L. seed against a subterranean termite, Coptotermes gestroi Wasmann and a drywood termite, Cryptotermes cynocephalus Light. Procedia Environ Sci. 2014;20:772–777.

Rajathi FAA, Nambaru VRMS. Phytofabrication of nano-crystalline platinum particles by leaves of Cerbera manghas and its antibacterial efficacy. Int J Pharma Bio Sci. 2014;5:619–628.

Sun Z, Duan L, Zhou J, Tian F, An M, Duan SS. Allelopathic effects of water extracts from mangrove plants dry powder and fresh tissue on two red-tide algae. Ecological Science. 2012;31:109–144.

Suwitchayanon P. Allelopathic activity of leaves, stalks and roots of Cymbopogon nardus. Emir J Food Agric. 2013;26:440–447.

Islam AKMM, Kato-noguchi H. Allelopathic potentiality of medicinal plant Leucas aspera. International Journal of Sustainable Agriculture. 2012;4:1–7.

Kato-Noguchi H, Suzuki M, Noguchi K, Ohno O, Suenaga K, Laosinwattana C. A potent phytotoxic substance in Aglaia odorata Lour. Chem Biodivers. 2016;13:549–554.

Duke SO. Phytotchemical phytotoxins and hormesis – a commentary. Dose Response. 2011;76–78.