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Impact of Soil Salinity on Barley Allelopathic Potential and Main Secondary Metabolites Gramine and Hordenine


Crop allelopathy is a useful tool in integrated weed suppression. Although the abiotic stresses affect the produced secondary metabolites, the impact of soil salinity on crop allelopathic potential under field conditions has not been investigated. So, the effect of soil salinity on the allelopathic activity of 18 allelopathic barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) varieties was investigated. The allelopathy of barley grown on saline and non-saline soils was investigated during a 2-year field experiment using the Perlite-based bioassay with rigid ryegrass (Lolium rigidum L.) as plant indicator. The two main allelopathic substances in barley, gramine and hordenine, were determined using the high-performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry. The results indicated that rigid ryegrass germination and root length were adversely affected by the barley aqueous extracts. The secondary metabolite gramine was detected in greater concentrations than those of hordenine. For most barley varieties, soil salinity reduced the phytotoxicity of aqueous extracts, as well as the concentration of gramine. However, gramine and hordenine were not highly correlated with the barley extract phytotoxicity, indicating the possible involvement of other allelopathic substances. In conclusion, the barley allelopathic potential probably decreases in soils with high salinity.

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The authors thank Dr De Li Liu, E.H. Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650, Australia, for providing the WESIA software used in our study. This research was supported financially by the European Commission and the Greek Ministry of Development.

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Correspondence to Ioannis Vasilakoglou.

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Kotzamani, A., Vasilakoglou, I., Dhima, K. et al. Impact of Soil Salinity on Barley Allelopathic Potential and Main Secondary Metabolites Gramine and Hordenine. J Plant Growth Regul (2020).

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  • Allelopathy
  • Barley variety
  • Dose–response
  • Lolium rigidum L.
  • Whole-range assessment