Special Issue "Plant Interference through Competition and Allelopathy"

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Weed Science and Weed Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 August 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Jeffrey Weidenhamer
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry, Geology and Physics, Ashland University, USA
Interests: development of methods for analysis of plant root exudates and soil; passive sampling methods; bioassay methodology; invasive weeds; sustainable agriculture; contamination of consumer products with heavy metals such as lead and cadmium
Dr. Sajid Latif
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Graham Centre of Agricultural Innovation;Charles Sturt University, NSW, Australia
Interests: Metabolomics; Plant Interactions; Allelopathy; Field Research;Bioinformatics
Prof. Dr. Leslie A. Weston
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga 2678, Australia
Interests: Metabolomics/Bioinformatics; Plant Interactions including Competition and Allelopathy, Herbicide Discovery
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

This special issue will focus on competition and allelopathic interference mechanisms in aquatic and terrestrial plants, and their impact on plant growth, invasion, community diversity and ecosystem function. Of particular interest in this issue is the focus on new technologies to study the impact of allelochemicals on ecosystem and rhizosphere diversity as well as the role of microorganisms in allelopathy, allelochemical production and transformation and plant interference.

Plants, including weeds, interfere with other plants, particularly crops, by several important mechanisms which can negatively impact their germination, establishment, productivity, reproduction, performance and/or quality. In the past fifty years, ecologists, agronomists and horticulturalists have frequently focused on the study of plant inter- or intraspecific competition for resources as a key mechanism impacting plant productivity and community dynamics. Additional research evaluating the impact of plant competition on resource availability including water, soil nutrients, and other factors will be a focus of this special issue. The impact of plant competition on soil microbial diversity and rhizosphere interactions is of particular interest, as findings generated by technological advancements in the study of rhizosphere biology and microbial diversity have resulted in the recent discovery of the critical role that soil microorganisms play in plant establishment and successful competition for resources.

In addition, plant and microbial interference with plant growth due to allelopathy, or chemical interactions among plants and microbes, is mediated by the production of secondary products or allelochemicals. Such metabolites can play important roles in chemical signaling processes while also impacting plant defense, growth and development, soil diversity and microbial associations including symbiotic and ectomycorrhizal associations. Furthermore, soil microorganisms and soil properties can directly impact the persistence, availability and transformation of such metabolites, thereby significantly affecting plant growth and establishment over time. The impact of plant metabolites on plant invasion, crop establishment and performance and replant issues is also featured in this special issue, due to technological advancements in the study of microbial activity, metabolite identification, mode of action of such allelochemicals, and their biosynthesis.

We are specifically requesting original research papers, short communications and review papers on this subject matter.

Dr. Jeffrey Weidenhamer
Dr. Sajid Latif
Prof. Dr. Leslie A. Weston
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agronomy is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • plant competition
  • plant invasion
  • resources
  • soil rhizosphere
  • allelochemicals
  • allelopathy
  • symbiosis
  • microbial diversity
  • persistence

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Elucidation of the Characteristics of Soil Sickness Syndrome in Japanese Pear and Construction of Countermeasures Using the Rhizosphere Soil Assay Method
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1468; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11081468 (registering DOI) - 23 Jul 2021
The continuous planting of Japanese pear leads to a soil sickness syndrome that eventually affects the growth and yield of the plant. In this study, we aimed to elucidate the characteristics of soil sickness syndrome in the Japanese pear and construct countermeasures using [...] Read more.
The continuous planting of Japanese pear leads to a soil sickness syndrome that eventually affects the growth and yield of the plant. In this study, we aimed to elucidate the characteristics of soil sickness syndrome in the Japanese pear and construct countermeasures using the rhizosphere soil assay method that can quantify the risk of soil sickness syndrome by inhibitory chemicals. Water flushing treatment, rainfall treatment, and the incorporation of test soils with different rates of activated carbon were evaluated on the risks of soil sickness. The water flushing treatment under laboratory conditions and exposure of the continuous cropping soil to rainfall in the open field decreased the inhibition rate of the soil. The decrease in soil inhibition rate was presumed to be the result of accumulated growth inhibitory substances in the soil being washed away by water. In addition, activated carbon with the potential to reduce the soil sickness syndrome was selected using the rhizosphere soil assay method. It was clarified that the mixing of the selected activated carbon with the continuous cropping soil reduced the inhibition rate and increased the growth of pear trees increased compared to the untreated soil from the continuous cropping field. The inhibition rate of the soil from the continuous cropping field was reduced to the level of soil with no history of Japanese pear cultivation. In the replanted field, these treatments can promote the growth of trees by reducing the influence of soil sickness syndrome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Interference through Competition and Allelopathy)

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Evaluation of Australian Early Vigour Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Genotypes and Commercial Cultivars For Weed Suppressive Ability
Authors: Pieter-Willem Hendriks 1,2,3,*, Saliya Gurusinghe2, Gregory J. Rebetzke3 and Leslie A. Weston2
Affiliation: 1 Charles Sturt University, School of Agriculture and Wine Sciences, Booroowa Street, Wagga-Wagga, 14 NSW, 2650, Australia; 2 Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650, Australia; 3 CSIRO, Agriculture and Food, PO Box 1700, Canberra, ACT, 2601, Australia.
Abstract: In this study, field experiments were performed in southern Australia to assess the impact of early shoot vigour and crop canopy in selected breeding accessions and commercial Australian winter wheat cultivars on naturally occurring weed populations. Crop traits including time of emergence, crop canopy closure, leaf area and biomass were evaluated over time and their association with weed suppression determined in a three-year study conducted in Wagga Wagga NSW, in the cereal belt of southern Australia.

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