Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: October 3, 2003
Publication Date: January 13, 2004
Citation: Hoagland, R.E., Williams, R.D. 2003. Bioassays: Useful tools for the study of allelopathy. In: Macias, F.A., Galindo, J.C.G., Molinillo, J.M.G. and Cutler, H.G. editors. Allelopathy: Chemistry and Mode of Action of Allelochemicals. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. pp. 315-351. Technical Abstract: Bioassays, using plant tissues, have been successful in detecting 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 plants (phytotoxicity) and on microbes (plant defense and antibiotic activity), microbial compounds and pathogens on plants (phytotoxicity/pathogenicity), and microbes on microbes (antibiotic activity). The scale of test subjects ranges from whole organism (plant or microbial cell) down to molecular constituents. Typically bioassays for such allelopathic studies have included seed germination, coleoptile growth tests, whole seedling/plant tests, membrane effects via detection of electrolyte leakage and ethane production, photosynthetic activity tests (oxygen, evolution, chlorophyll production, etc.), and others. Because of their utility and diversity, bioassays will remain major tools for screening compounds for allelopathic activity and for determining the qualitative and quantitative biological activity of allelochemicals.