Phytotoxic Potential of Trans-chalcone on Crop Plants and Model Species
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Chalcones are flavonoid precursors that recently have been found to disrupt mitochondrial function and induce apoptosis in Arabidopsis radicles. However, whether they are potentially useful for weed control as selective herbicides depends on whether they are phytotoxic for important weeds and are not toxic for crops. This work determines the phytotoxicity of chalcone for the germination and early development of a variety of crop species and associated weeds. Also, the phytotoxic potential was investigated in chalcone-watered or sprayed adult plants of Arabidopsis, a common model in phytotoxicity assays. Chalcone was detrimental mainly to the germination of Plantago lanceolata and Lactuca sativa and to the early root growth of Amaranthus retroflexus, Echinochloa crus-galli, and P. lanceolata, and likewise detrimental to the development of adult Arabidopsis. The morphology and physiology of adult Arabidopsis plants watered or sprayed with chalcone confirmed that this metabolite is also phytotoxic for adult plants and showed that the mechanism of its action on plant metabolism depends on whether it is administered by spraying or watering. These results support the role of chalcone as a plant growth regulator and its potential use in weed management in the field.
KeywordsTrans-chalcone Phytotoxicity Plant growth regulator Irrigation Foliar application Weed management
The authors thank the Central Research Services from the University of Vigo (CACTI) for technical assistance in element analyses. The authors want to thank also Ian Coleman for the translation into English and corrections made to the manuscript. This research was supported by the Regional Government of Galicia through Project No. 10PXIB310261PR and a grant to Elisa Graña, and by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology through a Grant (AGL2010-17885) to Carla Díaz.
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