Plant and Soil

, Volume 65, Issue 1, pp 11–17 | Cite as

The role of water-soluble components in phytotoxicity from decomposing straw

  • S. H. T. Harper
  • J. M. Lynch


When seedling development is slowed by the presence of straw in wet seed-beds both microbial products and compounds of plant origin contribute to phytotoxicity. Hot (100°C) water-soluble extracts from fresh straw contained phytotoxic substances but these accounted for less of the phytotoxicity than the microbial products, primarily acetic acid, from anaerobic fermentation of the insoluble straw polysaccharides (cellulose and hemicelluloses). The water-soluble components however also included mineral salts required in the decomposition of these polysaccharides.

Key words

Acetic acid Hot water-soluble components Phytotoxins Straw 


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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff/Dr W. Junk Publishers 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. H. T. Harper
    • 1
  • J. M. Lynch
    • 1
  1. 1.Agricultural Research Council Letcombe LaboratoryWantage

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