Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2013, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (2): 173-182.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2013.00018

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Allelopathy comparison between Castanea mollissima and C. dentata

LI Xiao-Juan1,2, WANG Qiang2*, NI Sui1*, RUAN Xiao2, WANG Yong-Hong2, ZHANG Huan2, and Geoff WANG3   

  1. 1School of Marine Sciences, Ningbo University, Ningbo, Zhejiang 315211, China;

    2Ningbo Institute of Technology, Zhejiang University, Ningbo, Zhejiang 315100, China;

    3School of Agricultural, Forest and Environmental Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson 29631, USA
  • Received:2012-11-26 Revised:2013-01-16 Online:2013-01-31 Published:2013-02-01
  • Contact: WANG Qiang; NI Sui;


Aims Castanea mollissima and C. dentata are typical chestnut species in Asia and North America, respectively. They play important roles in the ecology and economy in their existing forest ecosystems. Chestnut blight has caused catastrophic losses of C. dentata populations since 1904. It is especially important to understand the differences in chemical ecology characteristics between C. dentata and C. mollissima when scientists try to make use of blight resistance of C. dentata to help the recovery of C. mollissima populations in North America. The objective of this research is to compare the allelopathy effect of C. dentata and C. mollissima by leaf water extract bioassay method.
Methods Using germination rate and vigor as seed germination parameters and radicle, plumule elongation and fresh weight change of seedling as seedling growth parameters, we studied the effect of water extract of C. mollissima leaves on dicotyledons lettuce, radish and cucumber and monocotyledons onion, rice and wheat. We compared the allelopathic intensity of water extract and 11 elution components that were separated by X-5 macroporous resins from water extract of C. dentata and C. mollissima. The strongest allelopathic fraction of C. dentata and C. mollissima was analyzed by liquid chromatograph-mass spectrometer technique and standard substance counterevidence experiment.
Important findings Evidence of inhibition of seed germination and seedling growth of test plants indicated that water extract of C. mollissima leaf has allelopathic properties. Data on inhibition of seed germination and seedling growth in lettuce indicated that the allelopathy of C. mollissima leaves was stronger than C. dentata leaves. The allelochemicals of C. dentata and C. mollissima extracts are in 7:3, 6:4 and 5:5 elution fractions, as documented by the bioassay data. The strongest allelopathy fraction of C. dentata and C. mollissima extract (5:5 elution fraction) contained chlorogenic acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, protocatechuic acid, gallic acid, etc. Results suggest that the difference of chemical ecology characteristics between C. dentata and C. mollissima should not be ignored by restoration ecologists.

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