Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 1–11

Phytotoxicity of sorgoleone found in grain Sorghum root exudates

  • Frank A. Einhellig
  • Itamar F. Souza

DOI: 10.1007/BF00997160

Cite this article as:
Einhellig, F.A. & Souza, I.F. J Chem Ecol (1992) 18: 1. doi:10.1007/BF00997160


Root exudates ofSorghum bicolor consist primarily of a dihydroquinone that is quickly oxidized to ap-benzoquinone named sorgoleone. The aim of this investigation was to determine the potential activity of sorgoleone as an inhibitor of weed growth. Bioassays showed 125μM sorgoleone reduced radicle elongation ofEragrostis tef. In liquid culture, 50-μM sorgoleone treatments stunted the growth ofLemna minor. Over a 10-day treatment period, 10μM sorgoleone in the nutrient medium reduced the growth of all weed seedlings tested:Abutilon theophrasti, Datura stramonium, Amaranthus retroflexus, Setaria viridis, Digitaria sanguinalis, andEchinochloa crusgalli. These data show sorgoleone has biological activity at extremely low concentrations, suggesting a strong contribution toSorghum allelopathy.

Key words

Sorgoleone phytotoxin allelochemical allelopathy root exudate Sorghum bicolor Sorghums weed inhibition 

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank A. Einhellig
    • 1
  • Itamar F. Souza
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biology University of South DakotaVermillion
  2. 2.Minas Gerais Livestock and Agriculture Research Institute (EPAMIG)Lavras, MGBrazil

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