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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Houma, Louisiana » Sugarcane Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #322523

Research Project: Integrated Crop, Soil, and Water Management Systems for Sustainable Production of Sugarcane for Bioenergy Feedstock

Location: Sugarcane Research

Title: Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) impact on post-germination seedling growth

Author
item Webber Iii, Charles
item White, Paul
item Myers, Dwight - East Central University
item Shrefler, James - Oklahoma State University
item Taylor, Merritt - Oklahoma State University

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/26/2015
Publication Date: 12/1/2015
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/62044
Citation: Webber III, C.L., White Jr, P.M., Myers, D.L., Shrefler, J.W., Taylor, M.J. 2015. Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) impact on post-germination seedling growth. Journal of Agricultural Science. 7(12):91-99.

Interpretive Summary: Many plants produce chemicals that interact with other plants either to inhibit or enhance the other plants growth and development. This naturally occurring phenomenon is referred to as allelopathy. Our previous research demonstrated that kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) did produce allelopathy substances that influence the growth of germinating seeds. The purpose of the current research was to determine if the chemical substances produced by kenaf would also influence the post-germination growth and development of seedlings and determine which portion of the kenaf plant produced the most influential substances. Kenaf leaves, bark, and stem core were made from grinding the different plant parts separately and adding water to extract the chemical substances. Four concentrations (0, 16.7, 33.3 and 66.7 g/L) of kenaf bark, core, and leaf extracts were applied to the germinated seeds of redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus L.), green bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum Mill.), cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), and Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.). After 7 days, the developing seedlings were measured to determine the length of their hypocotyls (mm) and radicles (mm), and the number of hair roots. Tomato, Italian ryegrass, and redroot pigweed followed similar negative trends in their responses to the extract source (kenaf bark, core, and leaves) and the impact of extract concentration, whereas, cucumber had a mixed response and green bean reacted positively to the kenaf extracts. Tomato was the most sensitive plant, resulting in decreased hypocotyl, radicle, and root growth. Green bean exhibited no negative effects due to the kenaf extracts, but actually produced increased hypocotyl growth as a result of the kenaf bark, core, and leaf extracts. The kenaf extracts resulted in a mixed response for cucumber. The kenaf leaf and bark extract decreased cucumber radicle growth, whereas, the bark and core extracts increased hypocotyl growth. Italian ryegrass hypocotyl growth decreased for all extract sources (bark, core, and leaf), while the leaf extract also reduced root growth. All kenaf extracts reduced redroot pigweed radicle growth, while the core and leaf extracts reduced hypocotyl growth. The research demonstrated that kenaf leaf extracts were the most allelopathic and the hypocotyls were the most sensitive. Future research will isolate the chemicals responsible for both the negative and positive allelopathic impact on the various plant species, determine if the extracts will influence more mature plants, and pursue cultural practices to utilize these natural allelopathic materials to benefit crop production and limit weed competition.

Technical Abstract: The chemical interaction between plants, which is referred to as allelopathy, may result in the inhibition of plant growth and development. The objective of this research was to determine the impact of kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) plant extracts on the post-germination growth of five plant species. Four concentrations (0, 16.7, 33.3 and 66.7 g/L) of kenaf bark, core, and leaf extracts were applied to the germinated seeds of redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus L.), green bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum Mill.), cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), and Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.). After 7 days, the developing seedlings were measured to determine the length of their hypocotyls (mm) and radicles (mm), and the number of hair roots. Tomato, Italian ryegrass, and redroot pigweed followed similar negative trends in their responses to the extract source (kenaf bark, core, and leaves) and the impact of extract concentration, whereas, cucumber had a mixed response and green bean reacted positively to the kenaf extracts. Tomato was the most sensitive species tested across all kenaf extracts and concentrations, resulting in decreased hypocotyl, radicle, and root growth. Green bean exhibited no negative effects due to the kenaf extracts, but actually produced increased hypocotyl growth as a result of the kenaf bark, core, and leaf extracts. The kenaf extracts resulted in a mixed response for cucumber. The kenaf leaf and bark extract decreased cucumber radicle growth, whereas, the bark and core extracts increased hypocotyl growth. Italian ryegrass hypocotyl growth decreased across all extract sources (bark, core, and leaf), while the leaf extract also reduced root growth. All kenaf extracts reduced redroot pigweed radicle growth, while the core and leaf extracts reduced hypocotyl growth. The research demonstrated that kenaf leaf extracts were the most allelopathic and the hypocotyls were the most sensitive. Future research should isolate the chemicals responsible for both the negative and positive allelopathic impact on the various plant species, determine if the extracts will influence more mature plants, and pursue cultural practices to utilize these natural allelopathic materials to benefit crop production and limit weed competition.