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Use of benzofurans as herbicides

AgricultureBenzofuransHerbicidePestsPhytotoxic activity


The invention relates to the use of benzofurans as “natural-like” synthetic herbicides, characterized by a high phytotoxic and herbicidal activity. This activity is carried out on the growth of the roots and on the leafy apparatus of model species (Arabidopsis thaliana), on two cultivated species and monocotyledonous weeds (corn and E. crus-galli) and dicotyledonous (lettuce and A. retroflexus).

Technical features

The invention relates to the use of benzofuran-2-acetic derivatives as “natural-like” herbicidal agents. This term refers to synthetic molecules that have a basic structure (the benzofuran structure in the specific case) present in many natural substances. Their effect is comparable to the activity of glyphosate (Roundup, trade name), an herbicide molecule largely used in agriculture. The treated plants show a strong dose-dependent degradation of photosynthetic pigments with evident chlorotic symptoms, often associated with programmed cell death mechanisms. The invention also relates to herbicidal compositions comprising such benzofurans in combination with adjuvants, excipients and diluents acceptable in agriculture and a crop treatment method based on the use of said derivatives to be supplied in effective quantities, particularly in post-emergency conditions.

Possible Applications

  • The molecules can be used in in post-emergency conditions (nebulized treatment on the shoot);
  • The benzofuran derivatives of the invention can be formulated in liquid or nebulized form.


  • The benzofuran compounds can be synthesized with great ease and are characterised by a high phytotoxic and herbicidal activity which makes them extremely efficient even at low dosage;
  • Significant economic, environmental and health benefits.