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Use of isothiocyanates for suppression of Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri), pitted morningglory (Ipomoea lacunosa), and yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus)

  • Jason K. Norsworthy and John T. Meehan (a1)


A greenhouse experiment was conducted to evaluate the herbicidal activity of five aliphatic (ethyl, propyl, butyl, allyl, and 3-methylthiopropyl) and three aromatic (phenyl, benzyl, and 2-phenylethyl) isothiocyanates (ITCs) on Palmer amaranth, pitted morningglory, and yellow nutsedge. All ITCs were applied to soil at 0, 10, 100, 1,000, and 10,000 nmol g−1 of soil and incorporated. All ITCs had a deleterious effect on Palmer amaranth and pitted morningglory emergence. LC50 values for Palmer amaranth emergence inhibition from aliphatic and aromatic ITCs ranged from a low of 32 nmol g−1 of soil for phenyl ITC to a high of 941 nmol g−1 of soil for propyl ITC. Pitted morningglory was slightly more tolerant than Palmer amaranth to each of the ITCs, with LC50 values for emergence ranging from 347 to 2,855 nmol g−1 of soil for 3-methylthiopropyl and butyl ITC, respectively. Yellow nutsedge was the most tolerant of the three species, with LC50 values for ethyl, butyl, benzyl, and 2-phenylethyl being greater than the highest evaluated concentration of 10,000 nmol g−1 of soil. Phenyl and 3-methylthiopropyl at 10,000 nmol g−1 of soil were the most effective ITCs against yellow nutsedge, reducing emergence by 92%. Effectiveness of the ITCs varied across structure and species, but 3-methylthiopropyl and phenyl ITC were generally the most efficacious for the three species evaluated.


Corresponding author

Corresponding author. Department of Entomology, Soils, and Plant Sciences, Clemson University, 277 Poole Agricultural Center, Clemson, SC 29634;


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