Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 175–185 | Cite as

The Role of Momilactones in Rice Allelopathy

  • Hisashi Kato-Noguchi
  • Reuben J. Peters
Review Article


Large field screening programs and laboratory experiments in many countries have indicated that rice is allelopathic and releases allelochemical(s) into its environment. A number of compounds, such as phenolic acids, fatty acids, phenylalkanoic acids, hydroxamic acids, terpenes, and indoles, have been identified as potential rice allelochemicals. However, the studies reviewed here demonstrate that the labdane-related diterpenoid momilactones are the most important, with momilactone B playing a particularly critical role. Rice plants secrete momilactone B from their roots into the neighboring environments over their entire life cycle at phytotoxic levels, and momilactone B seems to account for the majority of the observed rice allelopathy. In addition, genetic studies have shown that selective removal of the momilactones only from the complex mixture found in rice root exudates significantly reduces allelopathy, demonstrating that these serve as allelochemicals, the importance of which is reflected in the presence of a dedicated momilactone biosynthetic gene cluster in the rice genome.


Allelopathy Allelochemical Ecosystem Momilactone Phenolic acid Oryza sativa Root exudate 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied Biological Science, Faculty of AgricultureKagawa UniversityMikiJapan
  2. 2.Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics, & Molecular BiologyIowa State UniversityAmesUSA

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