STUDY ON BIOTIC STRESS IN CEREALS AND NON-CEREALS THROUGH PHYTOTOXICITY CAUSED BY Chenopodium album
allelopathic influence of chenopodium album L.
In agro-ecosystem of crops, weeds and microbes constitute biotic component of environment. These interactions are undoubtedly important factors in determining species distribution and abundance in an ecosystem. Weeds are a major threat to the agriculture system causing productivity decline. Chenopodium album belonging to family Chenopodiaceae is one of the five most widely distributed plants in the world. It is a common weed in about 40 crops in 47 countries of the world. Chenopodium album contains 8% saponins, 10% phenolic compounds and many secondary metabolites shared significant phytotoxicity on neighbouring plants. So, in vitro conditions in Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Gomal University, D.I.Khan, an experiment was launched to explore the phytotoxic (allelopathic) potential of weed Chenopodium album on cereals (barley, sorghum, maize and millet) and non-cereal (gram, canola, mung and sunflower). Aqueous extract of C. album (all parts mixed) and pure water (control) were used to decipher its effectiveness on the aforementioned crops. Data obtained by applying water extract of C. album on the above crops revealed its phytotoxicity on all crops. Parameters days to germination, germination count, germination (%), root/shoot sizes, plant size, fresh/dry weight, moisture present in plant, plant growth rate, chlorophyll SPAD value, photosynthetic efficiency, and crude protein in leaves are suppressed by applying C. album extract (25% w/v). It is concluded from this study that C. album has biologically a unique entity as an allelopathic plant. Its presence in the field crop may cause loss of economic yield up to 15 to 45 %. So, more extensive studies are required to explore the allelopathic potential responsible for inhibitory effects on seed germination, plant growth and development and economic yield with its management.