Journal Article

Physiological basis of different allelopathic reactions of cucumber and figleaf gourd plants to cinnamic acid

Ju Ding, Yao Sun, Chun Lan Xiao, Kai Shi, Yan Hong Zhou and Jing Quan Yu

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Published on behalf of Society for Experimental Biology

Volume 58, issue 13, pages 3765-3773
Published in print October 2007 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online October 2007 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erm227
Physiological basis of different allelopathic reactions of cucumber and figleaf gourd plants to cinnamic acid

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To provide an insight into the mechanism of interspecific interactions mediated by allelochemicals, cucumber and figleaf gourd seedlings were compared on their response to cinnamic acid, an autotoxin from root exudates of cucumber. Reactive oxygen species metabolism and plasma membrane H+-ATPase activity were examined in roots upon exposure to cinnamic acid. This exposure resulted in significant increases in activities of NADPH oxidase, superoxide dismutase, guaiacol peroxidase, and catalase, as well as in O2·− production and H2O2 content, in cucumber roots but not in figleaf gourd roots. Notably, the cucumber roots produced significant amount of reactive oxygen species (ROS) immediately after cinnamic acid treatment, consequently increasing membrane peroxidation, decreasing membrane H+-ATPase activity, and losing root viability. By contrast, no such changes were observed in figleaf gourd roots. All these results indicated that there was an interspecies difference in the recognition of allelochemicals, which induced oxidative stress accompanied by root cell death in cucumber, an autotoxic plant, but not in figleaf gourd, a cucumber relative.

Keywords: Allelochemical; autotoxicity; cell viability; H+-ATPase; reactive oxygen species; oxidative stress; specific recognition

Journal Article.  5125 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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