Special Issue "Plant–Plant Allelopathic Interactions"

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Ecology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Bousquet-Mélou Anne
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Mediterranean Institute of Biodiversity and Ecology – Aix-Marseille University, 13003 Marseille, France
Interests: plant-plant interactions; allelopathy; ecosystem functionning; forest ecosystems; chemical ecology; mangroves
Dr. James M Mwendwa
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, Charles Sturt University, Albert Pugsley Place, Wagga Wagga NSW 2650, Australia
Interests: agronomy; crop and weed allelopathy; allelochemicals; metabolomics; crop and weed competition; soil carbon
Dr. Sajid Latif
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Graham Centre of Agricultural Innovation, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, NSW, Australia
Interests: metabolomics; plant interactions; allelopathy; field research; bioinformatics
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Special Issue Information

The ability of certain plant species to affect other plants has been well documented since antiquity. The first writings on this subject are attributed to Theophrastus (300 BC), a student of Aristotle who noticed the harmful effects of cabbage on a vine crop and suggested that such effects were caused by "smells" from cabbage plants. This phenomenon of interference among neighboring plants is known as allelopathy and typically includes the study of interactions between plants or plants and microbes, as well as the effects of compounds or allelochemicals released by plants on plant growth or other soil factors and can be studied at different scales within plant communities.

Allelopathic interference is mediated typically by the release of plant or microbially produced secondary metabolites into the environment via volatilization, leaching through rainfall, root exudation or decomposition of plant litter. A single compound or mixture of metabolites may prove to be active but the phenomenon of allelopathy is dependent on the accumulated concentration of bioactive compounds and their persistence over time in the natural environment. Therefore, the study of the ecology of such interactions, as well as the physiology and chemistry of allelochemical interference is critical to the field of allelopathy. Involvement of allelopathic mechanisms in vegetation dynamics and the spatial distribution of plants has been explored to date on a limited basis, both in natural ecosystems or agrosystems. In addition to the fundamental aspects of research on plant interference and relationships between plant species, the field of allelopathy also includes applied aspects of plant ecology including but not limited to, weed and crop ecology and invasive weed management. Aspects of phytoremediation and bioremediation may also be presented in this special issue as well as the development of novel bioherbicides or competitive crops through allelopathy.

Dr. Bousquet-Mélou Anne
Dr. James M Mwendwa
Dr. Sajid Latif
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • allelopathy
  • allelochemicals
  • vegetation dynamics
  • ecosystem functioning
  • forest ecosystems
  • bioassay
  • terrestrial invasion
  • crop and weed allelopathy
  • competitive crops
  • bioherbicides

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Allelopathic and Herbicidal Effects of Crude Extract from Chromolaena odorata (L.) R.M.King and H.Rob. on Echinochloa crus-galli and Amaranthus viridis
Plants 2021, 10(8), 1609; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10081609 - 05 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 750
Abstract
The present study was aimed at investigating the allelopathic effects of a crude extract from Chromolaena odorata (L.) R.M.King and H.Rob. (Siam weed). The effects of 70% crude ethanol extract from the whole plant, leaf, stem, and root on the germination and growth [...] Read more.
The present study was aimed at investigating the allelopathic effects of a crude extract from Chromolaena odorata (L.) R.M.King and H.Rob. (Siam weed). The effects of 70% crude ethanol extract from the whole plant, leaf, stem, and root on the germination and growth of Echinochloa crus-galli and Amaranthus viridis seedlings were evaluated using Petri-dish tests under laboratory conditions. Crude extracts from the leaf showed the highest inhibitory activity. The leaf extract (OR) was further separated by sequential solvent extraction to provide hexane (HX), ethyl acetate (ET), and butanol (BU) fractions, which were also evaluated using Petri-dish tests. The hexane fraction was significantly the most active; therefore, it was selected for formulation in a concentrated suspension and tested for its herbicidal characteristics. The formulation showed greater early post-emergence than post- and pre-emergence activities, respectively. The physiological mechanism of the formulation was tested against E. crus-galli and showed that chlorophyll a and b and the carotenoid contents of the leaf dramatically decreased when the concentration was increased, suggesting its ability to disrupt the process of photosynthesis. As thiobarbituric acid reactive substances also occurred in the leaf of E. crus-galli, this suggests lipid peroxidation and cell disruption. These results represent the possibility that C. odorata extract contains inhibitory compounds with herbicidal activity and could be used as an early post-emergence herbicide for weed control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant–Plant Allelopathic Interactions)
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Article
Metabolomics Reveals the Allelopathic Potential of the Invasive Plant Eupatorium adenophorum
Plants 2021, 10(7), 1473; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10071473 - 19 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1094
Abstract
Phytotoxic chemicals produced by alien invasive plants exert inhibitory effects on native species to facilitate their invasiveness. The allelopathic process of invaders has been hypothesized as the “Novel Weapon Hypothesis”. However, this hypothesis has been controversial for decades due to lack of molecular [...] Read more.
Phytotoxic chemicals produced by alien invasive plants exert inhibitory effects on native species to facilitate their invasiveness. The allelopathic process of invaders has been hypothesized as the “Novel Weapon Hypothesis”. However, this hypothesis has been controversial for decades due to lack of molecular evidence, and the underlying mechanism of allelopathy still remains ambiguous. Herein, we explore the allelopathic mechanisms of Eupatorium adenophorum, a world-widely spread noxious weed, by the methods of laboratory bioassay and metabolomics analyses in the recipient plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. The bioassay revealed significant phytotoxicity of E. adenophorum extracts. A total of 234 metabolites in A. thaliana were detected by Gas Chromatographic−Mass Spectrometric analysis. There were 48, 99 and 94 impacted metabolites in A. thaliana treated by 50, 25 and 12.5% aqueous extracts compared to control. When mapping all the impacted metabolites to the biological pathways in the KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) database, we found mineral absorption, ABC transporters, amino acid biosynthesis, metabolic pathways and biosynthesis of plant secondary metabolites were mainly impacted. Synthesized with partial least-squares discriminate analysis (PLS-DA) results of metabolic profiles in A. thaliana, we found that citrate cycle was suppressed, metabolism of amino acids was disordered and phosphate absorption was inhibited. Subsequent investigation demonstrated that the phosphorus content in A. thaliana tissues exposed in allelopathic extracts was much lower, indicating inhibition of phosphate uptake. Our study revealed by metabolomics approaches that E. adenophorum is an allelopathic species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant–Plant Allelopathic Interactions)
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Article
Effect of Extracts from Dominant Forest Floor Species of Clear-Cuts on the Regeneration and Initial Growth of Pinus sylvestris L. with Respect to Climate Change
Plants 2021, 10(5), 916; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10050916 - 02 May 2021
Viewed by 621
Abstract
Climate change influences the ecological environment and affects the recruitment of plants, in addition to population dynamics, including Scots pine regeneration processes. Therefore, the impact of cover-dominant species extracts on the germination of pine seeds and morpho-physiological traits of seedling under different environmental [...] Read more.
Climate change influences the ecological environment and affects the recruitment of plants, in addition to population dynamics, including Scots pine regeneration processes. Therefore, the impact of cover-dominant species extracts on the germination of pine seeds and morpho-physiological traits of seedling under different environmental conditions was evaluated. Increasing temperature reinforces the plant-donor allelochemical effect, reduces Scots pine seed germination, and inhibits seedling morpho-physiological parameters. Conditions unfavourable for the seed germination rate were observed in response to the effect of aqueous extracts of 2-year-old Vaccinium vitis-ideae and 1-year-old Calluna vulgaris under changing environmental conditions. The lowest radicle length and hypocotyl growth were observed in response to the effect of 1-year-old C. vulgaris and 2-year-old Rumex acetosella under increasing temperature (+4 °C) conditions. The chlorophyll a + b concentration in control seedlings strongly decreased from 0.76 to 0.66 mg g−1 (due to current environmental and changing environmental conditions). These factors may reduce the resistance of Scots pine to the effects of dominant species and affect the migration of Scots pine habitats to more favourable environmental conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant–Plant Allelopathic Interactions)
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Article
Allelopathic Effect of Serphidium kaschgaricum (Krasch.) Poljak. Volatiles on Selected Species
Plants 2021, 10(3), 495; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10030495 - 05 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 901
Abstract
The chemical profile and allelopathic effect of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) produced by a dominant shrub Serphidium kaschgaricum (Krasch.) Poljak. growing in northwestern China was investigated for the first time. Serphidium kaschgaricu was found to release volatile compounds into the surroundings to [...] Read more.
The chemical profile and allelopathic effect of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) produced by a dominant shrub Serphidium kaschgaricum (Krasch.) Poljak. growing in northwestern China was investigated for the first time. Serphidium kaschgaricu was found to release volatile compounds into the surroundings to affect other plants’ growth, with its VOCs suppressing root elongation of Amaranthus retroflexus L. and Poa annua L. by 65.47% and 60.37% at 10 g/1.5 L treatment, respectively. Meanwhile, volatile oils produced by stems, leaves, flowers and flowering shoots exhibited phytotoxic activity against A. retroflexus and P. annua. At 0.5 mg/mL, stem, leaf and flower oils significantly reduced seedling growth of the receiver plants, and 1.5 mg/mL oils nearly completely prohibited seed germination of both species. GC/MS analysis revealed that among the total 37 identified compounds in the oils, 19 of them were common, with eucalyptol (43.00%, 36.66%, 19.52%, and 38.68% in stem, leaf, flower and flowering shoot oils, respectively) and camphor (21.55%, 24.91%, 21.64%, and 23.35%, respectively) consistently being the dominant constituents in all oils. Eucalyptol, camphor and their mixture exhibited much weaker phytotoxicity compared with the volatile oils, implying that less abundant compounds in the volatile oil might contribute significantly to the oils’ activity. Our results suggested that S. kaschgaricum was capable of synthesizing and releasing allelopathic volatile compounds into the surroundings to affect neighboring plants’ growth, which might improve its competitiveness thus facilitate the establishment of dominance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant–Plant Allelopathic Interactions)
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Review

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Review
Allelopathy of Lantana camara as an Invasive Plant
Plants 2021, 10(5), 1028; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10051028 - 20 May 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1632
Abstract
Lantana camara L. (Verbenaceae) is native to tropical America and has been introduced into many other countries as an ornamental and hedge plant. The species has been spreading quickly and has naturalized in more than 60 countries as an invasive noxious weed. It [...] Read more.
Lantana camara L. (Verbenaceae) is native to tropical America and has been introduced into many other countries as an ornamental and hedge plant. The species has been spreading quickly and has naturalized in more than 60 countries as an invasive noxious weed. It is considered to be one of the world’s 100 worst alien species. L. camara often forms dense monospecies stands through the interruption of the regeneration process of indigenous plant species. Allelopathy of L. camara has been reported to play a crucial role in its invasiveness. The extracts, essential oil, leachates, residues, and rhizosphere soil of L. camara suppressed the germination and growth of other plant species. Several allelochemicals, such as phenolic compounds, sesquiterpenes, triterpenes, and a flavonoid, were identified in the extracts, essential oil, residues, and rhizosphere soil of L. camara. The evidence also suggests that some of those allelochemicals in L. camara are probably released into the rhizosphere soil under the canopy and neighboring environments during the decomposition process of the residues and as leachates and volatile compounds from living plant parts of L. camara. The released allelochemicals may suppress the regeneration process of indigenous plant species by decreasing their germination and seedling growth and increasing their mortality. Therefore, the allelopathic property of L. camara may support its invasive potential and formation of dense monospecies stands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant–Plant Allelopathic Interactions)
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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: Identification of weed-suppressive tomato for weed management in tomato production
Authors: Isabel Schlegel Werle; Edicarlos Castro; Carolina Pucci; Bhawna Soni Chakraborty; Richard G. Snyder; Te-Ming Tseng
Affiliation: Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mississippi State University, 316 Dorman Hall, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA
Abstract: The present study aims to identify tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) cultivars with weed-suppressive ability against target weed species in tomato growing season. Thus, a greenhouse study was conducted at Mississippi State University, at the R. R. Foil Plant Science Research Center, Starkville, MS. Three weed species were targeted: Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Wats), yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus L.), and large crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis L.). Tomato plants and weed species were grown in the same pot. Tomato seeds were sown on the circumference of the pot, and weed seeds were sown in the center of the pot. The four central weed plants in each pot were considered for the evaluations. Four weed-only pots were used as control. The experiment was laid out in a completely randomized design with 17 tomato varieties and a weedy check. The experiment had four replication and was repeated twice. Plant height, chlorophyll, and dry weight biomass of the weeds were measured 28 days after sowing. Cultivar 15 showed the most inhibition in Palmer amaranth seedlings. In the presence of this cultivar, Palmer amaranth height, chlorophyll, and dry shoot biomass were reduced by 58, 28, and 83%, respectively. Chlorophyll percentage in yellow nutsedge seedlings was suppressed by 15% with cultivar 64, whereas 13% of its height was reduced by cultivar 20. Inhibitory effects of cultivar 15 were observed in relation to the total dry biomass of yellow nutsedge, which decreased by 40% in the presence of this cultivar. The percentage of chlorophyll in large crabgrass was reduced by 22% with cultivar 5, whereas cultivar 38 reduced 35% of the seedling height. There was a 44% increase in the biomass reduction of large crabgrass in response to cultivar 63. These results suggest that the weed-suppressive potential of tomato differed among cultivars and weed species. Overall, cultivar 15 was most competitive against the weeds tested and may be used as an effective tool in the suppression of troublesome weeds in tomato. Keywords: tomato cultivar, allelopathy, competitive ability, plant-plant interactions

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