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Parthenium is known for its allelopathic potential on other plants including weeds and crops by releasing allelochemicals into its environment directly from aerial parts through washing of the plants by rain and/or through roots and/or by decay of the plants and remaining residue in soil. The extracts of various parts of parthenium plants namely leaves, flowers, stem and roots, as well as whole plant were assessed for their allelopathic effect on two leguminous plants namely greengram and soybean. Six different treatments were set up with the aqueous extracts (1% and 10%) of the various plant parts of parthenium, whole plant and parthenium vermicompost. The seedlings of green gram and soybean were allowed to grow for a period of 60 and 75 days respectively and uprooted at different time intervals, and analysed for various biometric and yield parameters.In both the crop plants studied, all the yield characters were influenced to a maximum level with the 1% and 10% parthenium compost application. Among the weed extracts, flower, followed by whole plant extracts, exhibited maximum number of pods per plant and pod length. The highest number of seeds per pod was observed in the crop plants, which received whole plant extract of parthenium both at 1% and 10% levels.
Parthenium, Allelopathic Potential, Allochemicals, Vermicompost
Allelopathy is relatively a new branch of science and is defined as a direct or indirect harmful or beneficial effect of one plant on another through the production of chemical compounds released to the environment (Oudhia, 2000;Rice, 1984). The secondary metabolites produced by plants (donors) when released into the environment, play a key role in ecology, physiology and growth of other plants (recipients) in their vicinity (Singh and Rao, 2003).Parthenium is known for its allelopathic potential on other plants including weeds and crops by releasing allelochemicals into its environment directly from aerial parts through washing of the plants by rain and/or through roots and/or by decay of the plants and removing residue in soil (Towers et al., 1977). The sesquiterpene lactone parthenin that is biosynthesized by this species is thought to play a role in its allelopathic interference with surrounding plants (Regina et al., 2007). In the present study an attempt was made to evaluate the allelopathic effects of the extracts of parthenium plant and compost on the growth and yield attributes of greengram and compare with that of soybean.
The present study suggests that parthenium influences positive effects on seed germination, seedling growth, nodulation, biomass and yield parameters in the selected plants such as greengram and soybean. However, this allelopathic activity of the weed may be different in field conditions due to the large difference of environmental conditions. Therefore, further studies are suggested to confirm this activity under field conditions.
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