Allelopathy in two species of Chenopodium -inhibition of germination and seedling growth of certain weeds

Subhash C. Datta, Kaasi N. Ghosh


The activity of washed leaf and inflorescence material of Chenopodium ambrosioides and C. murale, decaying leaves and inflorescences, and field soils collected beneath Chenopodium plants were examined in terms of the inhibition of seed germination and seedling growth of five weeds, viz. Abutilon indicum, Cassia sophera var. purpurea, C. tora, Evolvulus numularius and Tephrosia hamiltonii. The allelopathic pattern varied in each of the two test species and this depended on the type of test matter. However, the germination as well as the root and hypocotyl growth of A. indicum and E. nummularius were more hampered by phytotoxins or inhibitors from Chenopodium than were the other weeds. Since the leaf and inflorescence of Chenopodium formed the source of inhibitors, the respective plant-parts from the two species were chemically analysed and the presence of three terpenes (p-cymene, ascaridole and aritazone) from C. ambrosioides and an organic acid (oxalic acid) from C. murale were implicated in the allelopathic effect.


decaying plant-parts; field soils; inhibitors; phytotoxicity; washed plant material

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