, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 643-654

Possible allelopathic constituents ofCoffea arabica

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The aqueous extracts of leaves, stems, and roots ofCoffea arabica significantly inhibited the seed germination and radicle growth of rye grass, lettuce, and fescue. When the extracts were diluted to 1% solution, significant suppression of lettuce growth was still found and was particularly pronounced in the extract of young seedlings. The paper chromato-gram of the ether fraction of an aqueous extract of coffee leaves was bioassayed with lettuce seeds and revealed a remarkable inhibition throughout the chromatogram except for the segment ofR f 0.00–0.12. Paper without spotting extract was used as a standard. The phytotoxins present in coffee tissue were identified by paper and thin-layer chro-matography and mass spectrometry. The compounds include caffeine, theobromine, theophylline, paraxanthine, scopoletin, and chlorogenic, ferulic,p-coumaric,p-hydroxybenzoic, caffeic, and vanillic acids. All compounds except caffeic acid exhibited significant phytotoxicity to lettuce growth at a concentration of 100 ppm.

Paper no. 222 of the Scientific Journal Series, Institute of Botany, Academia Sinica, Taiwan, and Journal Article 3582 of the Agricultural Experiment Station, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma. The abstract was published in the Proceedings of 63rd Annual Meeting of American Societies for Experimental Biology, held on April 1–10, 1979, Dallas, Texas.