Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 643–654 | Cite as

Possible allelopathic constituents ofCoffea arabica

  • Chang -Hung Chou
  • George R. Waller


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 ofRf 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 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chang -Hung Chou
    • 1
  • George R. Waller
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of BotanyAcademia SinicaTaipeiTaiwan, 115
  2. 2.Department of BiochemistryOklahoma State UniversityStillwater

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