Journal of Plant Physiology
Rutin, a plant secondary metabolite that is used in cosmetics and food additive and has known medicinal properties, protects plants from UV-B radiation and diseases. Rutin has been suggested to have potential in weed management, but its mode of action at physiological level is unknown. Here, we report the biochemical, physiological and oxidative response of Arabidopsis thaliana to rutin at micromolar concentrations. It was found that fresh weight; leaf mineral contents (nitrogen, sodium, potassium, copper and aluminum) were decreased following 1 week exposure to rutin. Arabidopsis roots generate significant amounts of reactive oxygen species after rutin treatment, consequently increasing membrane lipid peroxidation, decreasing leaf Ca2+, Mg2+, Zn2+, Fe2+ contents and losing root viability. Carbon isotope composition in A. thaliana leaves was less negative after rutin application than the control. Carbon isotope discrimination values were decreased following rutin treatment, with the highest reduction compared to the control at 750μM rutin. Rutin also inhibited the ratio of CO2 from leaf to air (ci/ca) at all concentrations. Total protein contents in A. thaliana leaves were decreased following rutin treatment. It was concluded carbon isotope discrimination coincided with protein degradation, increase lipid peroxidation and a decrease in ci/ca values may be the primary action site of rutin. The present results suggest that rutin possesses allelopathic potential and could be used as a candidate to develop environment friendly natural herbicide.