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Biological control of broad-leaved dock infestation in wheat using plant antagonistic bacteria under field conditions


Conventional weed management systems have produced many harmful effects on weed ecology, human health and environment. Biological control of invasive weeds may be helpful to minimize these harmful effects and economic losses incurred to crops by weeds. In our earlier studies, plant antagonistic bacteria were obtained after screening a large number of rhizobacteria for production of phytotoxic substances and effects on wheat and its associated weeds under laboratory conditions. In this study, five efficient strains inhibitory to broad-leaved dock and non-inhibitory to wheat were selected and applied to broad-leaved dock co-seeded with wheat both in pot trial and chronically infested field trial. Effects of plant antagonistic bacteria on the weed and infested wheat were studied at tillering, booting and harvesting stage of wheat. The applied strains significantly inhibited the germination and growth of the weed to variable extent. Similarly, variable recovery in losses of grain and straw yield of infested wheat from 11.6 to 68 and 13 to 72.6% was obtained in pot trial while from 17.3 to 62.9 and 22.4 to 71.3% was obtained in field trial, respectively. Effects of plant antagonistic bacteria were also evident from the improvement in physiology and nutrient contents of infested wheat. This study suggests the use of these plant antagonistic bacteria to biologically control infestation of broad-leaved dock in wheat under field conditions.

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Authors are grateful to the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan for their financial support through Indigenous PhD Fellowship Program for 5000 scholars during this research work.

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Correspondence to Tasawar Abbas.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Abbas, T., Zahir, Z.A., Naveed, M. et al. Biological control of broad-leaved dock infestation in wheat using plant antagonistic bacteria under field conditions. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24, 14934–14944 (2017).

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  • Phytotoxic substances
  • Rhizobacteria
  • Infested wheat
  • Inoculation
  • Physiology
  • Tillering