Article

Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 643-654

First online:

Possible allelopathic constituents ofCoffea arabica

  • Chang -Hung ChouAffiliated withInstitute of Botany, Academia Sinica
  • , George R. WallerAffiliated withDepartment of Biochemistry, Oklahoma State University

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

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.

Key words

Coffea arabica allelopathy caffeine theobromine theophylline paraxanthine scopoletin chlorogenic acid vanillic acid p-hydroxybenzoic acid caffeic acid ferulic acid p-coumaric acid