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Do phytotoxic allelochemicals remain in ashes after burning Chrysanthemoides monilifera subsp. monilifera (boneseed)?

Md. Abdullah Yousuf Al Harun , Joshua Johnson , Randall W. Robinson


Received May 31, 2015,Revised September 11, 2015, Accepted September 15, 2015, Available online February 01, 2016

Volume 28,2016,Pages 109-119

Australia is facing challenges in controlling Chrysanthemoides monilifera subsp. monilifera (boneseed). However, burning has achieved some success in this regard. We aimed to investigate the comparative phytotoxicity of boneseed dried powder and ashes (burnt at 450°C and 250°C). Phenolic compounds in powder and ashes were measured using Folin–Ciocalteu assay and HPLC. The phytotoxicity of boneseed powder and ash extracts was assessed through germination bioassay on Lactuca sativa and the phytotoxicity of litter and ashes was evaluated using field soil, both in growth chamber. Burning of boneseed reduced total phenolics in ashes of boneseed organs by 99% and 100% both at high and low temperatures. The four phenolic compounds that were detected in boneseed were either absent or at negligible levels in the ashes, with inversely related to temperature. Both boneseed ash extracts and litter ash-mediated soil significantly reduced phytotoxicity displaying increased germination, biometric and biochemical parameters of test species compared with unburnt powder extracts and litter powder-mediated soil respectively, with greater reduction of phytotoxicity found for ashes produced at the lower temperature. Interestingly, the ash extracts and litter ash-mediated soil were found to stimulate some of those parameters of the test species compared to control. There was no excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced in test species exposed to ash extracts compared with unburnt powder extracts. These findings suggest that burning of boneseed is an appropriate method of weed control and that this approach will reduce phytotoxicity of this species on native plants.

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