Saponins in chenopods and potential for control of nematodes
Gwinn, K. D., E. K. Batson, T. Kouser, and M. E. Dee.  2017.  Phytopathology, S5:33.

Abstract:
Exposure of Caenorhabditis elegans to extracts from plants in the Family Chenopodiaceae (chenopods) reduced survival; activity was highest in two chenopods - Blitum bonus-henricus (GKH) and Dysphania ambrosioides (epazote). Our first objective was to evaluate saponin content of chenopod extracts. Aqueous suspensions of dried plant material (1.5 g/50 ml) were autoclaved and filtered; filtrate was autoclaved. Extracts of GKH (hemolytic) had much higher foaming indices than epazote (non-hemolytic). Our second objective was to determine if treatment with commercial Quillaja bark saponin (QBS) affected egg hatch and survival of first stage juveniles (L1) of C. elegans. Three strains (N2, MT7735, ZD500) were cultured using standard procedures. Eggs were collected from 2-day-old cultures and added to QBS, S basal salt, and water mixtures. Experiments were designed as replicated 3 3 factorials [strain QBS (0, 1, or 10 mg/ml)] with three trials. Eggs and L1s were counted at 8 h; mobility was monitored at 24 and 120 h. Percentage hatch and mobility were reduced in high QBS treatments (P < 0.001). Hatch in ZD500 (defective nose touch response) was higher than either N2 or MT7735 (P = 0.02). Effect of QBS on mobility of L1s varied. At 24 h, percentage of mobile L1s was greater in controls than in QBS treatments (P < 0.0001); this was reversed at 48 h for MT7735 (apoptosis mutant). Based on these studies, saponins may play a role in GHK activity against C. elegans.