Why phenolic acids are unlikely primary allelochemicals in rice. uri icon

abstract

  • Allelopathy in rice (Oryza sativa, L.) effective against weeds has been found in about 3.5% of tested rice germplasm in both laboratory and field experimentation, However, the allelochemicals responsible for growth inhibition of rice-associated weeds have not yet been identified. In the literature, phenolic acids are often mentioned as putative allelochemicals. If phenolic acids commonly reach growth inhibitory concentrations in rice ecosystems, it must be expected that the degree of tolerance to phenolic acids will vary among traditional rice cultivars or plant species adapted to rice environments having inherently different phenolic acid concentrations. Phenolic acids concentrations are normally greater in submerged than in aerobic soils. A dose-response study, however, showed that seedlings of rice cultivars adapted to submerged anaerobic soils did not have higher level of tolerance against p-hydroxybenzoic acid than did seedlings of varieties adapted to aerobic upland soils. Moreover, traditional rice cultivars had no greater tolerance than did improved cultivars that were recently bred for traits other than tolerance of phenolic acids. Similarly, there were no differences in tolerance of p-hydroxybenzoic acid between two Echinochloa weed species adapted to either anaerobic or aerobic growth conditions. Thus, neither the rice cultivars nor weed species had evolved different tolerance levels against the phenolic acid. However, all rice cultivars had significantly greater tolerance of p-hydroxybenzoic acid than did either weed species, In a second experiment, the rates at which rice plants released phenolic acids into solution cultures were measured for at least one month, the time period of greatest allelopathic activity following planting under field conditions. The maximum release rate of phenolic acids during the first month of growth was approximately 10 mug/plant/day, At a conventional plant density, the release rate of phenolic acids would be approximately 1 mg/m(2)/day. This order of release rate cannot provide concentrations remotely close to phytotoxic levels determined for these rice cultivars and weed species. The results presented in this paper do not preclude the possibility that phenolic acids might be one component in a mixture of chemicals that, when present simultaneously, are allelopathic.

publication date

  • 2002
  • 2002