Plant and Soil

, Volume 296, Issue 1–2, pp 85–93

Autotoxicity of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) as determined by laboratory bioassays

  • Hanwen Wu
  • Jim Pratley
  • Deirdre Lemerle
  • Min An
  • De Li Liu
Regular Article


Wheat varietal autotoxicity and varietal allelopathy were assessed based on plant extract and root exudate bioassays under laboratory conditions. Aqueous extract of wheat differed in varietal autotoxicity and varietal allelopathy, inhibiting wheat germination by 2–21%, radicle growth by 15–30%, and coleoptile growth by 5–20%, depending on the combination of the receiver and donor. Extracts of cv Triller or cv Currawong were more allelopathic to other wheat varieties than cv Batavia and cv Federation. Triller extract was more autotoxic than Federation. Assessment of root exudates by the equal-compartment-agar-method further identified the significant differences in varietal autotoxicity and varietal allelopathy of root exudates between wheat varieties, with root exudates of Triller or Batavia showing stronger autotoxic or allelopathic effects than Currawong or Federation. The varietal autotoxicity and allelopathy of root exudates also showed a characteristic radial inhibitory pattern in the agar growth medium. These results suggest that careful selection of suitable wheat varieties is necessary in a continuous cropping system in order to minimize the negative impacts of varietal allelopathy and varietal autotoxicity. Factors affecting autotoxicity in the field and strategies in autotoxicity management are discussed.


Allelopathy Allelochemicals Autotoxicity Autotoxins Wheat 


  1. Alam SM (1990) Effect of wheat straw extract on the germination and seedling growth of wheat (cv. Pavon). Wheat Information Service 71:16–18Google Scholar
  2. Ben-Hammouda M, Ghorbal MH, Kremer RJ, Oueslati O (2002) Autotoxicity of barley. J Plant Nutri 25:1155–1161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bertholdsson NO (2005) Early vigour and allelopathy - two useful traits for enhanced barley and wheat competitiveness with weeds. Weed Res 45:94–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cast KB, Mcpherson JK, Pollard AJ, Krenzer EG Jr, Waller GR (1990) Allelochemicals in soil from no tillage versus conventional-tillage wheat (Triticum aestivum) field. J Chem Ecol 16:2277–2289CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chou CH, Chiou SJ (1979) Autointoxication mechanism of Oryza sativa. II. Effects of culture treatments on the chemical nature of paddy soil and on rice productivity. J Chem Ecol 5:839–859CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chung IM, Miller DA (1995) Effect of alfalfa plant and soil extracts on germination and growth of alfalfa. Agron J 87:762–767CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dornbos DL Jr, Spencer GF, Miller RW (1990) Medicarpin delays alfalfa seed germination and seedling growth. Crop Sci 30:162–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fomsgaard IS, Mortensen AG, Carlsen SCK (2004) Microbial transformation products of benzoxazolinone and benzoxazinone allelochemicals - a review. Chemosphere 54:1025–1038PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Friedman J, Waller GR (1983) Caffein hazards and their prevention in germinating seeds of coffee Coffea arabica L. J Chem Ecol 9:1099–1106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gaspar EM, Neves HC (1995) Chemical constituents in allelopathic straw of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Allelopathy J 2:79–87Google Scholar
  11. Guenzi WD, McCalla TM, Norstadt FA (1967) Presence and persistence of phytotoxic substances in wheat, oat, corn and sorghum residues. Agron J 59:163–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hairston JE, Sanford JO, Pope DF, Horneck DA (1987) Soybean-wheat doublecropping: implications from straw management and supplemental nitrogen. Agron J 79:281–286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hedge RS, Miller DA (1990) Allelopathy and autotoxicity in alfalfa: characterization and effects of preceding crops and residue incorporation. Crop Sci 30:1255–1259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hicks SK, Wendt CW, Gannaway JR, Baker RB (1989) Allelopathic effects of wheat straw on cotton germination, emergence, and yield. Crop Sci 29:1057–1061CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hozumi Y, Nakayama K, Yoshida K (1974) Allelopathy of wheat, barley and rye on the growth of rice plant. J Central Agric Exp Station 20:87–102Google Scholar
  16. Kimber RWL (1967) Phytotoxicity from plant residues. I. The influence of rotted wheat straw on seedling growth. Aust J Agric Res 18:361–374CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kimber RWL (1973) Phytotoxicity from plant residues. III. The relative effect of toxins and nitrogen immobilization on the germination and growth of wheat. Plant Soil 38:543–555CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lodhi MAK, Bilal R, Malik KA (1987) Allelopathy in agroecosystems: wheat phytotoxicity and its possible roles in crop rotation. J Chem Ecol 13:1881–1891CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lynch JM (1978) Production and phytotoxicity of acetic acid in anaerobic soils containing plant residues. Soil Biol Biochem 10:131–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lynch JM, Ellis FB, Harper SHT, Christian DG (1981) The effect of straw on the establishment and growth of winter cereals. Agric Environ 5:321–328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Macías FA, Marín D, Oliveros-Bastidas A, Varela RM, Simonet AM, Carrera C, Molinillo JM (2003) Allelopathy as a new strategy for sustainable ecosystems development. Biol Sci Space 17:18–23PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. McCalla TM, Army TJ (1961) Stubble mulch farming. Adv Agron 13:125–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. McCalla TM, Haskins F (1964) Phytotoxic substances from soil microorganisms and crop residues. Bacteriol Rev 28:181–207PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Miller DA (1983) Allelopathic effects of alfalfa. J Chem Ecol 9:1059–1072CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Miller RW, Kleiman R, Powell RG, Putnam AR (1988) Germination and growth inhibitors of alfalfa. J Nat Prod 51:328–330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Nakano H, Morita S, Shigemori H, Hasegawa K (2006) Plant growth inhibitory compounds from aqueous leachate of wheat straw. Plant Growth Reg 48:215–219Google Scholar
  27. Narwal SS, Sarmah MK, Nandal DP (1997) Allelopathic effects of wheat residues on growth and yield of fodder crops. Allelopathy J 4:111–120Google Scholar
  28. Opoku G, Vyn TJ, Voroney RP (1997) Wheat straw placement effects on total phenolic compounds in soil and corn seedling growth. Can J Plant Sci 77:301–305Google Scholar
  29. Oueslati O, Ben- Hammouda M, Ghorbal MH, Guezzah M, Kremer RJ (2005) Barley autotoxicity as influenced by varietal and seasonal variation. J Agron Crop Sci 191:249–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Protic R (1977) Allelopathic activity of harvest remains of wheat and sugar beet on soyabean. Bioloski Vestnik 25:192Google Scholar
  31. Protic R, Andelic M, Vasiljevic L (1980) Anatomical structure and function of the root system of wheat as dependent on allelopathic effects. Savremena-Poljoprivreda 28:243–256Google Scholar
  32. Purvis CE (1990) Differential response of wheat to retained crop stubbles. I. Effect of stubble type and degree of composition. Aust J Agric Res 41:225–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Purvis CE, Jones GPD (1990) Differential response of wheat to retained crop stubbles. I. Other factors influencing allelopathic potential; intraspecific variation, soil type and stubble quantity. Aust J Agric Res 41:243–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Putnam AR (1985) Allelopathic research in agriculture: past highlights and potential. In: Thompson AC (ed). The Chemistry of allelopathy: Biochemical interactions among plants, American Chemical Society, Washington, D.C. pp 1–8Google Scholar
  35. Putnam AR, Duke WB (1978) Allelopathy in agroecosystems. Annual Rev Phytopath 16:431–451CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Rice EL (1984) Allelopathy. 2nd edn, Academic Press, Orlando, FloridaGoogle Scholar
  37. Schreiner O, Reed HS (1907) The production of deleterious excretions by roots. Bull Torr Bot Club 34:279–303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Shodiev P, Kaspari VM (1985) On the role of allelopathy in agriculture. Uzbekskii Biologicheskii Zhurnal 2:22–24Google Scholar
  39. Tesar MB (1993) Delayed seeding of alfalfa avoids autotoxicity after ploughing or glyphosate treatment of established stands. Agron J 85:256–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Villagrasa M, Guillamon M, Labandeira A, Taberner A, Eljarrat E, Barcelo D (2006) Benzoxazinoid allelochemicals in wheat: distribution among foliage, roots, and seeds. J Agric Food Chem 54:1009–1015PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Waller GR (1987) Allelopathic compounds in soil from no tillage vs conventional tillage in wheat production. Plant Soil 98:5–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Wu H, Pratley J, Lemerle D, Haig T (1999) Crop cultivars with allelopathic capability. Weed Res 39:171–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Wu H, Pratley J, Lemerle D, Haig T (2000a) Laboratory screening for allelopathic potential of wheat (Triticum aestivum) accessions against annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum). Aust J Agric Res 51:259–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Wu H, Pratley J, Lemerle D, Haig T (2000b) Evaluation of seedling allelopathy in 453 wheat (Triticum aestivum) accessions by Equal-Compartment-Agar-Method. Aust J Agric Res 51:937–944CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Wu H, Pratley J, Lemerle D, Haig T (2001) Allelopathy in wheat (Triticum aestivum). Ann Appl Biol 139:1–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Wu H, Haig T, Pratley J, Lemerle D, An M (2002) Biochemical basis for wheat seedling allelopathy on the suppression of annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum). J Agric Food Chem 50:4567–4571PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Wu H, Pratley J, Haig T (2003a) Phytotoxic effects of wheat extracts on a herbicide-resistant biotype of annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum). J Agric Food Chem 51:4610–4616PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Wu H, Pratley J, Ma W, Haig T (2003b) Quantitative trait loci and molecular markers associated with wheat allelopathy. Theor Appl Genet 107:1477–1481PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Young CC (1984) Autointoxication in root exudates of Asparagus officinalis L. Plant Soil 82:247–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Young CC, Thorne RLZ, Waller GR (1989) Phytotoxic potential of soil and wheat straw in rice rotation cropping systems of subtropical Taiwan. Plant Soil 120:95–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Yu JQ, Sen S, Ya Q, Zhu Z, Wen H (2000) Autotoxic potential of cucurbit crops. Plant Soil 223:147–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Yu JQ (2001) Autotoxic potential of cucurbit crops: phenomenon, chemicals, mechanisms and means to overcome. J Crop Prod 4:335–348CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hanwen Wu
    • 1
  • Jim Pratley
    • 1
    • 2
  • Deirdre Lemerle
    • 1
  • Min An
    • 1
    • 3
  • De Li Liu
    • 1
  1. 1.E.H. Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation (a collaborative alliance between NSW Department of Primary Industries and Charles Sturt University)Wagga Wagga Agricultural InstituteWagga WaggaAustralia
  2. 2.School of Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences Charles Sturt UniversityWagga WaggaAustralia
  3. 3.Environmental and Analytical LaboratoriesCharles Sturt UniversityWagga WaggaAustralia

Personalised recommendations