Indexed on: 01 Nov '94Published on: 01 Nov '94Published in: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Organic acids are major water-soluble allelochemicals found in soil infested with quackgrass and are involved in several processes that are important in plant growth and development. This study was carried out to gain more information on the effects of benzoic acid (BEN) andtrans-cinnamic acid (CIN) on growth, mineral composition, and chlorophyll content of soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr. cv. Maple Bell] grown in nutrient solution. The two allelochemicals reduced root and shoot dry biomass of soybean. Treated plants had fewer lateral roots and tended to grow more horizontally compared to the untreated plants. Lateral roots were stunted and less flexible. The amounts of P, K, Mg, Mn, Cl(-), and SO 4 (2-) were lower, and Zn and Fe contents were higher in roots of plants grown with BEN or CIN as compared to untreated plants. Shoots of plants grown with the allelochemical showed greater accumulation of Ca, Mg, and Zn, whereas P and Fe contents were reduced. The BEN and CIN also caused reductions in leaf chlorophyll content. The BEN and CIN may be responsible for negative allelopathic effects of quackgrass on soybean by inhibiting root growth, by altering ion uptake and transport, and by reducing chlorophyll content.