Allelopathic competence of Tamarindus indica L. root involved in plant growth regulation
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The allelopathic competence of tamarind root was evaluated using several weed and edible crop species under both laboratory and greenhouse conditions. Bio-assay guided studies using agar and soil medium revealed that the growth of both radicle and hypocotyl were strongly inhibited under both conditions. Accelerated root exudation observed with an increase in the age of tamarind seedlings caused a high magnitude of growth inhibition of the plant species tested by the plant-box method. Tamarind seedlings at 21-DAG (days after germination) exerted the strongest inhibitory effect (85.0–95.1%) on the growth of the plant species tested. Root dry weight of tamarind seedlings in the plant-box method experiment was highly correlated (R2 values more than 0.92) with the percentage of growth inhibition. The growth of species grown in the soil under the tamarind tree was inhibited by 85.3–97.1% in the greenhouse. The percentage of growth inhibition declined by 18.4–22.0% (as compared to the natural soil condition) when autoclaved soil of the same trees was used for bio-assay of plant species by the soil-agar sandwich method. This indicates that ca. a 20% increase in response was associated with the allelopathic activity of tamarind root exuded into the natural soil and was due to the effects of soil microbes and soil texture. In terms of growth inhibition of the plant species tested, the root zone soil of the tamarind tree showed stronger inhibitory effects (80.1–94.2%) than the rhizosphere soil, as determined by the soil-agar sandwich method. In all cases, growth inhibition especially in the radicle was higher in the weed species than the edible crop species. Our observations clearly indicate that tamarind root exudate has allelochemical competence and this contributes to a weed free environment around the tamarind tree.
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