Part of the Disease Management of Fruits and Vegetables book series (DMFV, volume 2)


Allelopathic bacteria encompass those rhizobacteria that colonize the surfaces of plant roots, produce, and release phytotoxic metabolites, similar to allelochemicals, that detrimentally affect growth of plants. Practical application of this group of bacteria to agriculture could contribute to biological weed management systems that have less impact on the environment than conventional systems by reducing inputs of herbicides. Allelopathic bacteria have been investigated for potential as inundative-type biological control agents on several weeds. Because allelopathic bacteria generally do not attack specific biochemical sites within the plant, unlike conventional herbicides, they offer a means to control weeds without causing direct selective pressure on the weed population, therefore, development of resistance is not a major consideration. Additionally, the use of allelopathic bacteria appears to be environmentally benign relative to herbicides. These characteristics make allelopathic bacteria an attractive approach for managing crop weeds in a sustainable manner, even within the boundaries of conventional agriculture systems. However, recent evidence suggests that indigenous allelopathic bacteria might be exploited under certain crop and soil management practices that are inherently part of sustainable agricultural systems. The development of “weed-suppressive” soils in diverse sustainable systems is encouraging because indigenous populations of allelopathic bacteria may develop in several soils and environments using similar practices. The recent demonstrations of apparent weed-suppressive soils may lead to development of specific management strategies for the establishment and persistence of native allelopathic bacteria directly in soils conducive to annual weed infestations.


Biological Control Weed Management Weed Seed Euphorbia Esula Weed Population 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aldrich, R.J., Kremer, R.J. Principles in Weed Management. Iowa State University Press: Ames, IA, 1997. Google Scholar
  2. Baker, K.F., Cook, R.J. Biological Control of Plant Pathogens. Freeman: San Francisco, 1974. Google Scholar
  3. Barazani, O., Friedman, J. Allelopathic bacteria and their impact on higher plants. Crit Rev Plant Sci 1999; 18:741–755. Google Scholar
  4. Begonia, M.F.T., Kremer, R.J. Chemotaxis of deleterious rhizobacteria to velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti) seeds and seedlings. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 1994; 15:227–236. Google Scholar
  5. Begonia, M.F.T., Kremer, R.J., Stanley, L., Jamshedi, A. Association of bacteria with velvetleaf roots. Trans Mo Acad Sci 1990; 24:17–26. Google Scholar
  6. Berner, D., Carsky, R., Dashiell, K., Kling, J., Manyong, V. A land management based approach to integrated Striga hermonthica control in sub-Saharan Africa. Outlook Agric 1996; 25:157–164. Google Scholar
  7. Boland, G.J., Kuykendall, L.D. Plant-Microbe Interactions and Biological Control. Marcel Dekker: New York, 1998. Google Scholar
  8. Bolton, Jr., H., Fredrickson, J.K., Elliott, L.F. Microbial ecology of the rhizosphere. In: Soil Microbial Ecology. Blaine Metting, Jr., F. ed., Marcel Dekker, Inc.: New York., 1993; pp. 27–63. Google Scholar
  9. Boyetchko, S.M. Innovative applications of microbial agents for biological weed control. In: Biotechnological Approaches in Biocontrol of Plant Pathogens. Mukerji, K.G., Chamola, B.G., Upadhyay, R.K., eds., Plenum Press: London, 1999; pp. 73–97. Google Scholar
  10. Brinkman, M.A., Clay, S.A., Kremer, R.J. Influence of deleterious rhizobacteria on leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) roots. Weed Technol 1999; 13:835–839. Google Scholar
  11. Cardina, J. Biological weed management. In, Handbook of Weed Management Systems, Smith, A.E. ed. Marcel Dekker: New York, 1995; pp. 279–341. Google Scholar
  12. Carpenter-Boggs, L., Reganold, J.P., Kennedy, A.C. Biodynamic preparations: short-term effects on crops, soils, and weed populations. Am J Altern Agric 2000; 15:110–118. Google Scholar
  13. Cherrington, C.A., Elliott, L.F. Incidence of inhibitory pseudomonads in the Pacific Northwest. Plant Soil 1987; 101:159–165. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dashiell, K.E., Jackai, L.E.N., Hartman, G.L., Ogundipe, H.O., Asafo-Adjei, B. Soybean germplasm diversity, uses and prospects for crop improvement in Africa. In, Crop Genetic Resources of Africa, Ng, N.O., Perrino, P., Attere, F., Zedan, S. eds. Vol II. Proc. International Conference on Crop Genetic Resources of Africa (pp. 203–212), IITA: Ibadan, Nigeria, 1991; pp. 203–212. Google Scholar
  15. De Weger, L.A., van der Bij, A.J., Dekkers, L.C., Simons, M., Wijffelman, C.A., Lugtenberg, B.J. Colonization of the rhizosphere of crop plants by plant-beneficial pseudomonads. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 1995; 17:221–228. Google Scholar
  16. Elliott, L.F., Lynch, J.M. Plant growth-inhibitory pseudomonads colonizing winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) roots. Plant Soil 1985; 84:57–65. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fennimore, S.A., Jackson, L.E. Organic amendment and tillage effects on vegetable field weed emergence and seedbanks. Weed Technol 2003; 17:42–50. Google Scholar
  18. Gallandt, E.R., Liebman, M., Huggins, D.R. Improving soil quality: implications for weed management. J Crop Product 1999; 2:95–121. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gealy, D. R., Gurusiddaiah, S., Ogg, Jr., A.G. Isolation and characterization of metabolites from Pseudomonas syringae strain 3366 and their phytotoxicity against certain weed and crop species. Weed Sci 1996; 44:383–392. Google Scholar
  20. Gliessman, S.R. Allelopathy and agroecology. In Chemical Ecology of Plants: Allelopathy in Aquatic and Terrestial Ecosystems, Inderjit, A.U. Mallik eds., Birkhauser Verlag: Zurich, 2002; pp. 173–185. Google Scholar
  21. Greaves, M. P., Sargent, J.A. Herbicide-induced microbial invasion of plant roots. Weed Sci 1986; 34:50–53. Google Scholar
  22. Gurusiddaiah, S., Gealy, D.R., Kennedy, A.C., Ogg, Jr., A.G. Isolation and characterization of metabolites from Pseudomonas fluorescens-D7 for control of downy brome (Bromus tectorum). Weed Sci 1994; 42:492–501. Google Scholar
  23. Harley, K.L.S., Forno, I.W. Biological Control of Weeds: A Handbook for Practitioners and Students. Inkata Press: Melbourne, 1992. Google Scholar
  24. Harris, P.A., Stahlman, P.W. Soil bacteria as selective biological control agents of winter annual grass weeds in winter wheat. Appl Soil Ecol 1996; 3:275–281. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hatcher, P.E., Melander, B. Combining physical, cultural and biological methods: prospects for integrated nonchemical weed management strategies. Weed Res 2003; 43:303–322. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Keel, C., Schnider, U., Maurhofer, M. Voisard, C., Laville, J., Burger, U., Wirthner, P., Haas, D., DeFago, G. Suppression of root diseases by Pseudomonas fluorescens CHA0: importance of the bacterial secondary metabolite 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol. Molec Plant Microbe Interact 1992; 5:4–13. Google Scholar
  27. Kennedy, A.C. Rhizosphere. In, Principles and Applications of Soil Microbiology, Sylvia, D.M., Fuhrmann, J.J., Hartel, P.G., Zuberer D.A., eds. Pearson Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2005; pp. 242–262. Google Scholar
  28. Kennedy, A.C., Johnson, B.N., Stubbs, T.L. Host range of a deleterious rhizobacterium for biological control of downy brome. Weed Sci 2001; 49:792–797. Google Scholar
  29. Kennedy, A.C., Elliott, L.F., Young, F.L., Douglas, C.L. Rhizobacteria suppressive to the weed downy brome. Soil Sci Soc Am J 1991; 55:722–727. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Knowles, C. J., Bunch, A.W. Microbial cyanide metabolism. Adv Microbiol Physiol 1986; 27:73–111. Google Scholar
  31. Kremer, R.J., Li, J. Developing weed-suppressive soils through improved soil quality management. Soil Till Res 2003; 72:193–202. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kremer, R.J. Bioherbicides: potential successful strategies for weed control. In, Microbial Biopesticides, Koul O., Dhaliwal B., eds., Taylor & Francis: London, 2002, pp. 307–323. Google Scholar
  33. Kremer, R.J., Souissi, T. Cyanide production by rhizobacteria and potential for suppression of weed seedling growth. Curr Microbiol 2001; 43:182–186. PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kremer, R.J. Growth suppression of annual weeds by deleterious rhizobacteria integrated with cover crops. In, Proceedings of the Xth International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds, Spencer, N.R. ed. USDA-ARS and Montana State University: Bozeman, MT, 2000; pp. 931–940. Google Scholar
  35. Kremer, R.J. Microbial interactions with weed seeds and seedlings and its potential for weed management. In, Integrated Weed and Soil Management, Hatfield, J.L., Buhler, D.D., Stewart, B.L. eds., Ann Arbor Press: Chelsea, MI, 1998; pp. 161–179. Google Scholar
  36. Kremer, R.J., Kennedy, A.C. Rhizobacteria as biocontrol agents of weeds. Weed Technol 1996; 10:601–609. Google Scholar
  37. Kremer, R.J., Begonia, M.F.T., Stanley, L., Lanham, E.T. Characterization of rhizobacteria associated with weed seedlings. Appl Environ Microbiol 1990; 56:1649–1655. PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Kulmatiski, A., Beard, K.H., Stark, J.M. Finding endemic soil-based controls for weed growth. Weed Technol 2004; 18:1353–1358. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Li, J., Kremer, R.J. Rhizobacteria associated with weed seedlings in different cropping systems. Weed Sci 2000; 48:734–741. Google Scholar
  40. Liebman, M., Gallandt, E.R. Many little hammers: ecological management of crop-weed interactions. In, Ecology in Agriculture, Jackson, L.E. ed. Academic Press: San Diego, 1997; pp. 291–343. Google Scholar
  41. Müller-Schärer, H., Scheepens, P.C., Greaves, M.P. Biological control of weeds in European crops: recent achievements and future work. Weed Res 2000; 40:83–98. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Nehl, D.B., Allen, S.J., Brown, J.F. Deleterious rhizosphere bacteria: an integrating perspective. Appl Soil Ecol 1997; 5:1–20. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Nelson, E.B. Microbial dynamics and interactions in the spermosphere. Annu Rev Phytopathol 2004; 42:271–309. PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Newman, R.M., Thompson, D.C., Richman, D.B. Conservation strategies for the biological control of weeds. In, Conservation Biological Control, Barbosa P. ed. Academic Press: San Diego, 1998; pp. 371–396. Google Scholar
  45. Owen, A., Zdor, R. Effect of cyanogenic bacteria on the growth of velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti) and corn (Zea mays) in autoclaved soil and the influence of supplemental glycine. Soil Biol Biochem 2001; 33:801–809. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Parr, J.R., Papendick, R.I., Hornick, S.B., Meyer, R.B. Soil quality: attributes and relationship to alternative and sustainable agriculture. Amer J Alt Agric 1992; 7:5–11. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Quimby, P.C., Birdsall, J.L. Fungal agents for biological control of weeds: classical and augmentative approaches. In, Novel Approaches to Integrated Pest Management. Reuveni R. ed., CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL, 1995, pp. 293–308. Google Scholar
  48. Sarwar, M., Kremer, R.J. Enhanced suppression of plant growth through the production of L-tryptophan derived compounds by deleterious rhizobacteria. Plant Soil 1995; 172:261–269. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Sarwar, M., Frankenberger, Jr., W.T Influence of L-tryptophan and auxins applied to the rhizosphere on the vegetative growth of Zea mays L. Plant Soil 1994; 160:97–104. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Schippers, B., Bakker, A.W., Bakker, P.A.H.M., van Peer, R. Beneficial and deleterious effects of HCN-producing pseudomonads on rhizosphere interactions. Plant Soil 1990; 129:75–83. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Schippers, B., Bakker, A.W., Bakker, P.A. Interactions of deleterious and beneficial rhizosphere microorganisms and the effect of cropping practices. Annu. Rev. Phytopathol 1987; 25:339–358. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Schroth, M.N., Hancock, J.G. Disease-suppressive soil and root-colonizing bacteria. Science 1982; 216:1376–1381. PubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Skipper, H.D., Ogg, Jr., A.G., Kennedy, A.C. Root biology of grasses and ecology of rhizobacteria for biological control. Weed Technol 1996; 10:610–620. Google Scholar
  54. Souissi, T., Kremer, R.J., White, J.A. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy of root colonization of leafy spurge (Euphorbia esulaL.) seedlings by rhizobacteria. Phytomorphology 1997; 47:177–193. Google Scholar
  55. Sturz, A.V., Christie, B.R. Beneficial microbial allelopathies in the root zone: the management of soil quality and plant disease with rhizobacteria. Soil Till Res 2003; 72:107–123. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Suslow, T.V. Role of root-colonizing bacteria in plant growth. In, Phytopathogenic Prokaryotes, Mount, M.S., Lacy, G.H. eds. Volume 1. Academic Press: New York, 1982, pp. 187–223. Google Scholar
  57. Suslow, T.V., Schroth, M.N. Role of deleterious rhizobacteria as minor pathogens in reducing crop growth. Phytopathology 1982; 72:111–115. Google Scholar
  58. TeBeest, D.O. Microbial Control of Weeds. Chapman and Hall: New York, 1991. Google Scholar
  59. Tranel, P.J., Gealy, D.R., Kennedy, A.C. Inhibition of downy brome (Bromus tectorum) root growth by a phytotoxin from Pseudomonas fluorescens strain D7. Weed Technol. 1993; 7:134–139. Google Scholar
  60. Turco, R.F., Bischoff, M., Breakwell, D.P., Griffith, G.R. Contribution of soil-borne bacteria to the rotation effect in corn. Plant Soil 1990; 122:115–120. Google Scholar
  61. Weissmann, R., Gerhardson, B. Selective plant growth suppression by shoot application of soil bacteria. Plant Soil 2001; 234:159–170. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Weller, D.M., Raaijmakers, J.M., McSpadden-Gardner, B.B., Thomashow, L.S. Microbial populations responsible for specific soil suppressiveness to plant pathogens. Annu Rev Phytopathol 2002; 40:309–348. PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Zahir, Z.A., Arshad, M., Frankenberger, Jr., W.T. Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria: applications and perspectives in agriculture. Adv Agron 2004; 81:97–168. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.U.S.D.A., Agricultural Research Service, Cropping Systems & Water Quality UnitUniversity of MissouriColumbiaU.S.A.

Personalised recommendations