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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 98 No. 6, p. 1526-1531
     
    Received: Jan 31, 2006
    Published: Nov, 2006


    * Corresponding author(s): rviator@srrc.ars.usda.gov
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doi:10.2134/agronj2006.0030

Allelopathic, Autotoxic, and Hormetic Effects of Postharvest Sugarcane Residue

  1. Ryan P. Viator *a,
  2. Richard M. Johnsona,
  3. Casey C. Grimmb and
  4. Edward P. Richarda
  1. a USDA-ARS Southern Regional Res. Cent., Sugarcane Res. Lab., 5883 USDA Rd., Houma, LA 70360
    b USDA-ARS Southern Regional Res. Cent., Food Processing and Sensory Quality Unit, 1100 Robert E. Lee Blvd., New Orleans, LA, 70124

Abstract

With green sugarcane (interspecific hybrids of Saccharum spp.) harvesting, 6 to 24 Mg ha−1 of postharvest residue is deposited on the field surface covering the sugarcane stubble that must reemerge for several ratoon crops. The objectives of this research were to: (i) determine if postharvest residue possesses allelopathic, autotoxic, and hormetic properties; (ii) determine the interaction of soil type with possible autotoxic effects; and (iii) identify a reliable indicator species. Extract concentrations consisted of 0, 0.1, 10, 25, and 100% of the original solution of a 1:28 tissue to water extract. The higher concentrations of residue extracts exhibited autotoxicity by delaying early leaf development. The lower extract concentration of 10% increased sugarcane bud germination by 45% compared with the control, indicating hormetic effects. Allelopathic activity on tall morninglory (Ipomoea hederacea Jacq.) was more pronounced on a light soil; germination and radical length were reduced by all concentrations by an average of 42% and 8 mm, respectively, compared with the control. Seedling dry weights were reduced by an average of 10 mg by the 10, 25, and 100% extract concentrations relative to the control. On the heavy soil, only the 100% concentration reduced radical length and weight by 5 mm and 4 mg, respectively, relative to the control. Extract effects on oat (Avena nuda L.), rye (Secale cereale L.), and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) showed poor correlation with effects on sugarcane. Chemical analysis by gas chromatography/mass spectrotometry indicated the extract contained benzoic acid. Further studies are needed to establish the impact of benzoic acid in natural settings.

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