Artemisia arborescens (Vaill.) L.: Micromorphology, Essential Oil Composition, and Its Potential as an Alternative Biocontrol Product

Plants (Basel). 2024 Mar 13;13(6):825. doi: 10.3390/plants13060825.


Artemisia arborescens is a Mediterranean evergreen shrub, with silver grey-green tomentose leaves and a strong scent. It has various ethnopharmacological uses and its secondary metabolites have demonstrated antimicrobial, antiviral, pharmaceutical, phytotoxic, and insecticidal activities. Different extracts obtained from aerial parts of this species are known for their allelopathic effect, but similar studies on its essential oil (EO) are lacking. Therefore, we carried out a pharmacognostic study, obtaining the characterization of the secretory structures and the EO produced. Trans-thujone and camphor are the main components, followed by aromadendrene, camphene, and 8-cedren-13-ol. EO phytotoxic activity was tested on weed plants (Lolium multiflorum Lam. and Sinapis arvensis L.) and crops (Raphanus sativus L. and Cucumis sativus L.), showing inhibition on both germination and radical growth of the two weeds tested. The effects of the EO against the bacterial plant pathogens Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Gram-) and Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (Gram+) was also assayed. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) was observed when it was used undiluted [100% v/v], and growth inhibition when diluted at different doses. The antimicrobial activity was also confirmed by the cellular material release and biofilm formation assays. The overall data show that A. arborescens EO can find application as a potential alternative biocontrol product against weeds and plant pathogens. This goal is particularly important from the perspective of replacing synthetic pesticides with natural products, which safeguard both the environment and the health of consumers.

PMID:38592817 | DOI:10.3390/plants13060825