Isolation and identification of a potent allelopathic substance in Bangladesh rice

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Aqueous methanol extracts of Bangladesh rice (Oryza sativa L. cv. BR17) inhibited the growth of roots and shoots of cress (Lepidium sativum), lettuce (Lactuca sativa), alfalfa (Medicago sativa), timothy (Phleum pratense), Digitaria sanguinalis, Echinochloa crus-galli and Echinochloa colonum. Increasing the extract concentration increased the inhibition, suggesting that the BR17 may have growth inhibitory substances and possess allelopathic potential. The aqueous methanol extract of the BR17 was purified and a main inhibitory substance was isolated and determined by spectral data as 2,9-dihydroxy-4-megastigmen-3-one. This substance inhibited root and shoot growth of cress and E. crus-galli seedlings at concentrations greater than 0.03 and 3 μM, respectively. The concentrations required for 50% growth inhibition on cress roots and shoots were 0.22 and 0.47 μM, respectively, and on E. crus-galli roots and shoots were 36 and 133 μM, respectively. These results suggest that 2,9-dihydroxy-4-megastigmen-3-one may contribute to the growth inhibitory effect of BR17 and may play an important role in the allelopathy of BR17. Thus, Bangladesh rice BR17 may be potentially useful for weed management in a field setting.

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