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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Bioassays: Useful Tools for the Study of Allelopathy

item Williams, Robert

Submitted to: CRC Press
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: June 28, 2003
Publication Date: October 1, 2003
Citation: Hoagland, R.E., Williams, R.D. 2004. Bioassays: useful tools for the study of allelopathy. Macia, F.A., Galindo, J.C.G., Molinillo, M.G., Cutler, H.G., Editors. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Fl. Allelopathy: Chemistry and Mode of Action of Allelochemicals. p. 315-351.


Technical Abstract: Bioassays have been successfully used for many years to detect the biological activity of numerous synthetic compounds and natural products (allelopathic/allelochemical activity). Relatively rapid and inexpensive bioassays can provide qualitative or quantitative data. A multitude of bioassays have been designed to evaluate interactions of plant compounds on nplants (phytotoxicity) and on microbes (plant defense and antibiotic activity), microbial compounds and pathogens on plants (phytotoxicity/pathogenicity), and of microbes on microbes (antibiotic activity). Many bioassays for such allelopathic studies include seed germination, coleoptile growth tests, whole seedling/plant tests, membrane effects using electrolyte leakage and ethane production, and others. Bioassays will remain major tools for screening compounds for allelopathic activity and for determining the qualitative and quantitative activity of allelochemicals. Although allelopathy can include various interactions between plant and microbes, this presentation will be restricted to interactions between plant and microbes related to phytotoxicity. This overview will present examples of bioassays that have been used to detect allelopathic activity and others that can be adapted for this purpose.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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