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Phytotoxicity mechanisms of two coumarin allelochemicals from Stellera chamaejasme in lettuce seedlings

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Abstract

Stellera chamaejasme, a perennial weed which is an ecological threat, is widely distributed in some grasslands of Central and Eastern Asia. Our previous studies have identified several allelochemicals including two coumarins (umbelliferone and daphnoretin), from S. chamaejasme, and confirmed that allelopathy contributed to the competitive behavior of this weed. In this study, the inhibitory effects of umbelliferone and daphnoretin on lettuce seedlings and the mechanisms of their phytotoxicity were investigated. Results showed that shoot and root elongation and fresh weight of lettuce seedlings were effectively inhibited by umbelliferone in a concentration-dependent manner. Daphnoretin showed a weaker phytotoxicity. Both of the coumarins arrested the mitosis process in lettuce root tips and induced proline overproduction. Additionally, loss of cell viability and overproduction of reactive oxygen species in lettuce root cells were found after treatments with umbelliferone. Moreover, umbelliferone caused lipid peroxidation. These results suggested that umbelliferone displayed stronger phytotoxicity than daphnoretin on lettuce growth, and that the two coumarins had different mechanisms of phytotoxicity. That of daphnoretin was mainly dependent on its inhibitory effects on mitosis. Umbelliferone caused membrane lipid peroxide formation and cell death by inducing ROS overproduction, and impacted cell division, which resulted in growth inhibition of the receptor plant.

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Abbreviations

DHE:

Dihydroethidium

FDA:

Fluorescein diacetate

FW:

Fresh weight

MDA:

Malondialdehyde

MI:

Mitosis index

PCD:

Program cell death

PI:

Propidium iodide

ROS:

Reactive oxygen species

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Acknowledgments

This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31300290, 21302195 and 31570354), CAS "Light of West China" Program, Agricultural Biotechnology Research and Development Program of Gansu Province (GNSW-2015-25), Cooperation Program to Gansu Province of Lanzhou Branch of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Open Project of Key Laboratory for Tobacco Gene Resources, Institute of Tobacco Research, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

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Correspondence to Bo Qin.

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Communicated by A. Gniazdowska-Piekarska.

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Yan, Z., Wang, D., Cui, H. et al. Phytotoxicity mechanisms of two coumarin allelochemicals from Stellera chamaejasme in lettuce seedlings. Acta Physiol Plant 38, 248 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11738-016-2270-z

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11738-016-2270-z

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