Welcome to the world of Allelopathy
Allelopathy is new science, which indicates inhibitory or stimulatory biochemical
interactions between the two plant spp. Prof. Hans Molisch, a German Plant Physiologist
coined this term in 1937. Thereafter worldwide, a lot of allelopathic research had
been conducted in various fields of Agricultural and Biological Sciences. Hence,
International Allelopathy Society in 1996, broadened its definition to Allelopathy
refers to any process involving secondary metabolites produced by plants, microorganisms,
viruses and fungi that influence the growth and development of Agricultural and
Biological Systems. In future, Worldwide there will be increase in demand for better
quality food and in large quantity due to increased human population. Therefore,
for Sustainability of Agriculture, we need to minimise the use to present pesticides
(weedicides, insecticides, nematicides, fungicides), to control pests (weeds, insects,
nematodes, diseases) in field crops, through use of allelopathic strategies for
pests management. The present pesticides used for control of agricultural pests
have caused many problems, viz., development of resistance in organisms, environmental
pollution, toxicity related health hazards in humans and livestock. Studies have
shown a great potential of allelochemicals in pest control, thus, these may minimise
or eliminate the use of present pesticides. Besides, allelopathy has many other
applications in agroecosystems and thus provides basis to Sustainable Agriculture.
Therefore, it is priority area of multidisciplinary research in developed Countries
and currently allelopathy research is being done throughout the World. For clean
environment, to avoid health hazards in human and livestock and for development
and Sustainability of Organic/Ecological Agriculture, adoption of allelopathic strategies
in farming are essential.
POSTULATES OF ALLELOPATHY RESEARCH
Most of the Allelopathic studies done in underdeveloped and Third World Countries,
consists of only simple Petri Plate Bioassays to determine the effects of Donor
plants extracts on germination and seedling growth of Recipient plant spp. This
is not Allelopathy Research, but just one partial component. Such Manuscripts are
Rejected by SCI Journals. Many studies have given excellent evidence for allelopathy
but only few investigators have followed a specific protocol (similar to Koch's
postulates for proof of disease) to provide the convincing Proof (Fuerst and Putnam,
1983). The proof of allelopathy involves the following sequence of studies:
- Demonstrate the interference using the suitable controls, describe the symptoms
and quantify the growth reduction.
- Isolate, characterize and assay the chemical against species that were previously
affected. Identification of chemicals that are not artifacts is essential.
- Obtain toxicity with similar symptoms, when chemicals are added back to the system.
- Monitor the release of chemicals from the donor plant and detect them in the environment
(soil, air, etc.) around the recipient and ideally, in the recipient plant.
COMPLETE ALLELOPATHY RESEARCH
The complete Allelopathy research using these Postulates requires detailed studies
on various aspects viz.
- Plant Physiological/Biochemical Processes
- Pattern of Biomass decomposition
- Allelopathic interactions between the plant roots and microbes in Rhizosphere
- Isolation, identification and Characterization of allelochemicals. To determine
these aspects, studies are conducted in : (i). Lab Bioassays, (ii). Pot culture,
(iii) Field studies and (iv). Isolation and identification of compounds responsible
for such effects is also done. To fully train the researchers in Allelopathy Research,
this advanced Course has been prepared.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR AUTHORS
- 1.All parameters, enzyme activities, Chemical anlysis or other items, should be
determined on oven dry weight basis and not on either fresh weight or air dry basis.
- 2. Follow all Abbrevations and Nomenclature as per International Standards.