Butenolides from plant-derived smoke : natural plant-growth regulators with antagonistic actions on seed germination

Light, Marnie E. ; Burger, B. V. ; Staerk, Dan ; Kohout, Ladislav ; Van Staden, Johannes (2010-01)

The original publication is available at http://pubs.acs.org/page/jnprdf/

Article

Smoke plays an intriguing role in promoting the germination of seeds of many species following a fire. Recently, a bicyclic compound containing a condensed butenolide moiety, 3-methyl-2H-furo[2,3-c]pyran-2-one (1), was reported as a potent germination promoter from plant-derived smoke. In this study, a related butenolide, 3,4,5-trimethylfuran- 2(5H)-one (2), which inhibits germination and significantly reduces the effect of 1 when applied simultaneously, was also isolated from plant-derived smoke. The interaction of these compounds with opposing actions on seed germination may have important ecological implications in a post-fire environment and could be useful molecules for understanding the events involved in breaking seed dormancy and promoting seed germination.

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