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The toxicity of peach tree roots

Summary

The HCN content of peach plants and the effect of this and other substances formed from peach root residues on growth of peach trees and on soil microorganisms were investigated. Peach root bark contained appreciable amounts of HCN. HCN was released from live roots after mechanical injury. Benzaldehyde and KCN were toxic to rooted peach trees in the greenhouse and they inhibited respiration of peach root tips. A similar suppression of respiration was caused by benzoic acid, mandelonitrile, and water extracts of peach root bark incubated in peach and non-peach soils. Extracts from peach soil caused greater inhibition to respiration of peach root tips than extracts from non-peach soil.

KCN, mandelonitrile, benzaldehyde, peach root bark, and amygdalin reduced the total micro-organism, actinomycete, pythium, and pathogenic nematode population of an old peach soil.

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Israel, D.W., Giddens, J.E. & Powell, W.W. The toxicity of peach tree roots. Plant Soil 39, 103–112 (1973). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00018049

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Keywords

  • Respiration
  • Bark
  • Benzoic Acid
  • Benzaldehyde
  • Soil Microorganism