m-Tyrosine, a root-exuded allelochemical produced by Chewing's fine fescue (Festuca rubra L. ssp. commutata)

Leslie Weston, Cecile Bertin, Frank Schroeder

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paper

Abstract

m-Tyrosine, a root-exuded allelochemical produced by Chewing's fine fescue (Festuca rubra L. ssp. commutata) Leslie A. Weston, leslieweston20@gmail.com, E H Graham Centre for Agriculture, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, Australia, Cecile Bertin, PharmAfrica, Research Director, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and Frank C. Schroeder, Cornell University, Boyce Thompson Institute, Ithaca, NY. Fine fescue grasses displace neighboring plants by depositing large quantities of an aqueous phytotoxic root exudate in the soil rhizosphere. Via activity-guided fractionation, we have isolated and identified the non-protein amino acid m-tyrosine as the major active component. m-Tyrosine is significantly more phytotoxic than its structural isomers o- and p-tyrosine. We show that m-tyrosine exposure results in growth inhibition for a wide range of plant species at µM concentrations and propose that the release of this amino acid interferes with root development of competing plants. Microscopic study suggests that m-tyrosine is produced and released by epidermal cells in living fine fescue roots. Only certain cultivars of fine fescue such as Intrigue Chewing's fescue produce and release large quantities of m-tyrosine in root exudates. m-Tyrosine phytotoxicity is counteracted by certain protein amino acids, especially phenylalanine and p-tyrosine. The discovery of m-tyrosine, as well as a further understanding of its mode(s) of action, could lead to the development of biorational approaches to weed control.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSymposium on Natural Products Research -"Chemistry for Health
Subtitle of host publicationCatalyzing Translational Research."
EditorsS.O. Duke
Place of PublicationUSA
PublisherACS
Pagesagro 11
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventAmerican Chemical Society Division of Natural Products, 236th National Meeting and Exposition - Philadelphia PA, New Zealand
Duration: 17 Aug 200821 Aug 2008

Conference

ConferenceAmerican Chemical Society Division of Natural Products, 236th National Meeting and Exposition
CountryNew Zealand
Period17/08/0821/08/08

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  • Cite this

    Weston, L., Bertin, C., & Schroeder, F. (2008). m-Tyrosine, a root-exuded allelochemical produced by Chewing's fine fescue (Festuca rubra L. ssp. commutata). In S. O. Duke (Ed.), Symposium on Natural Products Research -"Chemistry for Health: Catalyzing Translational Research." (pp. agro 11). ACS.