Allelopathy: Chemistry and Mode of Action of Allelochemicals

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This process is not negative allelopathy, although both processes can act together to enhance the survival rate of the plant species. The term allelopathy from the Greek -derived compounds allelo- and -pathy meaning "mutual harm" or "suffering" , was first used in by the Austrian professor Hans Molisch in the book Der Einfluss einer Pflanze auf die andere - Allelopathie The Effect of Plants on Each Other - Allelopathy published in German.

Long before the term allelopathy was used, people observed the negative effects that one plant could have on another. Theophrastus , who lived around BC noticed the inhibitory effects of pigweed on alfalfa. In China around the first century AD, the author of Shennong Ben Cao Jing described plants that had pesticidal abilities, including those with allelopathic effects. Allelopathy is not universally accepted among ecologists and many have argued that its effects cannot be distinguished from the competition which results when two or more organisms attempt to use the same limited resource, to the detriment of one or both.

Allelopathy is a direct negative effect on one organism resulting from the input of substances into the environment by another. In the s, great effort went into distinguishing competitive and allelopathic effects by some researchers, while in the s others argued that the effects were often interdependent and could not readily be distinguished. However, by D.

Liu and J. Lowett at the Department of Agronomy and Soil Science, University of New England in Armidale, NSW, Australia wrote two papers [8] [9] in the Journal of Chemical Ecology that developed methods to separate the allelochemical effects from other competitive effects, using barley plants and inventing a process to examine the allelochemicals directly. The possible application of allelopathy in agriculture is the subject of much research. For example, Leptospermone is a purported thermochemical in lemon bottlebrush Callistemon citrinus.

Although it was found to be too weak as a commercial herbicide, a chemical analog of it, mesotrione tradename Callisto , was found to be effective. Sheeja reported the allelopathic interaction of the weeds Chromolaena odorata Eupatorium odoratum and Lantana camara on selected major crops. Many crop cultivars show strong allelopathic properties, of which rice Oryza sativa has been most studied. More recently, critical review on rice allelopathy and the possibility for weed management reported that allelopathic characteristics in rice are quantitatively inherited and several allelopathy-involved traits have been identified.

Many invasive plant species interfere with native plants through allelopathy. One of the most widely known early examples was Salvia leucophylla , because it was on the cover of the journal Science in However, like many allelopathy studies, it was based on artificial lab experiments and unwarranted extrapolations to natural ecosystems.

In , Science published a study where caging the shrubs to exclude rodents and birds allowed grass to grow in the bare zones. Allelopathy has been shown to play a crucial role in forests, influencing the composition of the vegetation growth, and also provides an explanation for the patterns of forest regeneration.

The black walnut Juglans nigra produces the allelochemical juglone , which affects some species greatly while others not at all. The leaf litter and root exudates of some Eucalyptus [24] species are allelopathic for certain soil microbes and plant species. The tree of heaven , Ailanthus altissima , produces allelochemicals in its roots that inhibit the growth of many plants. The pace of evaluating allelochemicals released by higher plants in nature has greatly accelerated, with promising results in field screening.

The commonly used methods of weed control herbicide application, mechanical weeding and hand weeding are effective in agricultural production. However, there are many disadvantages associated with these methods, for example, the evolution of herbicide resistance in weeds, the negative impacts of herbicides on environmental, human and animal health, the expense of herbicides, the losses in soil structure and the enormous labor requirements. Many of the above problems can be allayed by creating diversity in weed control practices with the application of allelopathy.

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Allelopathy Studies in Weed Science in India——A Review :: Science Publishing Group

The combination of more than one weed control method has been proved to be effective in reducing the probability of herbicide resistance development in weeds. Moreover, the combined application of reduced synthetic herbicides dose and allelopathic extracts can provide control that is as effective as that obtained from the standard dose of herbicides Farooq et al.

Further, using diverse weed management practices in certain fields can ensure sustainable and effective weed control.


  1. Molecules of Death?
  2. Whole Earth Catalog - Fall 1968!
  3. 1. Introduction?
  4. Adverse Effects of Allelopathy from Legume Crops and Its Possible Avoidance?
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  6. Ebook Allelopathy Chemistry And Mode Of Action Of Allelochemicals;

Allelopathy has been known and used in agriculture since ancient times; however, its recognition and use in modern agriculture are very limited. Allelopathy plays an important role in investigations of appropriate farming systems as well as in the control of weeds, diseases and insects, the alleviation of continuous cropping obstacles, and allelopathic cultivar breeding. Furthermore, allelochemicals can act as environmentally friendly herbicides, fungicides, insecticides and plant growth regulators, and can have great value in sustainable agriculture.

Although allelochemicals used as environmentally friendly herbicides has been tried for decades, there are very few natural herbicides on the market that are derived from an allelochemical. However, there are a few research investigations testing natural-product herbicides. With increasing emphasis on organic agriculture and environmental protection, increasing attention has been paid to allelopathy research, and the physiological and ecological mechanisms of allelopathy are gradually being elucidated.

Moreover, progress has been made in research on the associated molecular mechanisms. It is obvious that allelopathy requires further research for widespread application in agricultural production worldwide. The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest. The authors acknowledge the editors for providing us with this opportunity to share our understanding of the practices of plant allelopathy in agriculture and the physiological and ecological mechanisms of allelopathy.

This research and the writing of this review were supported by a project of the National Natural Science Foundation of China No. Abd El-Gawad, A. Ecology and allelopathic control of Brassica tournefortii in reclaimed areas of the Nile Delta, Egypt. Abenavoli, M.

Allelopathy effects

Coumarin inhibits the growth of carrot Daucus carota L. Saint Valery cells in suspension culture. Plant Physiol. Abrahim, D.


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  • Effects of alpha-pinene on the mitochondrial respiration of maize seedlings. Effects of phenolic acids and monoterpenes on the mitochondrial respiration of soybean hypocotyl axes. Allelopathy J. Google Scholar. Albuquerque, M. Allelopathy, an alternative tool to improve cropping systems. Agron Sust. Anaya, A. Allelopathy as a tool in the management of biotic resources in agroecosystems. Plant Sci. Andrew, I. A review of the potential for competitive cereal cultivars as a tool in integrated weed management. Weed Res. An, Y.

    Switchgrass Panicum virgatum L. Acta Agric. Baerson, S.

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    Detoxification and transcriptome response in Arabidopsis seedlings exposed to the allelochemical benzoxazolin-2 3H -one. Bais, H. Allelopathy and exotic plant invasion: from molecules and genes to species interactions. Science , — The role of root exudates in rhizosphere interactions with plants and other organisms. Plant Biol. Bakkali, F. Biological effects of essential oils—a review. Food Chem. Barazani, O. Allelopathic bacteria and their impact on higher plants. Barros de Morais, C.

    Oil radish development agronomic affected by sunflower plants reduces.

    Allelopathy: Current status of research and future of the discipline: A commentary

    Barto, E. Half-lives and field soil concentrations of Alliaria petiolata secondary metabolites.

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    Chemosphere 76, 71— Batish, D. Caffeic acid affects early growth, and morphogenetic response of hypocotyl cuttings of mung bean Phaseolus aureus. Baziramakenga, R. Allelopathic effects of phenolic acids on nucleic acid and protein levels in soybean seedlings.