Allelopathy: Full Circle from Phytotoxicity to Mechanisms of Resistance

  • Tiffany L. Weir
  • Jorge M. Vivanco


Recently there have been important strides in decoding the role of allelopathy in ecological invasions. However, in order to truly unlock the potential of allelopathy it is necessary to understand how allelochemicals affect plants on many levels, from their influence on community dynamics to their cellular targets within an individual plant to how modifications of the structure of a chemical can alter its activity. Collaborations between ecologists, chemists, and molecular biologists are now facilitating the elucidation of some of these interactions. Perhaps one of the most recent and well-documented of these interdisciplinary studies of an allelochemical is the research that has been done on (± )-catechin, a phytotoxin produced by Centaurea maculosa. As detailed in this chapter, several ecological, chemical and molecular studies have been conducted in an attempt to clarify the role of this chemical in the invasive success of C. maculosa. Although proof for an ecological role of this phytochemical remains elusive, these studies provide a model for the type of interdisciplinary work that is required to determine the importance of allelopathy in ecology and to manipulate the allelopathic potential of certain plants for weed management in cultivated crops.


Oxalic Acid Phenolic Acid Root Exudate High Pressure Liquid Chromatography Full Circle 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tiffany L. Weir
    • 1
  • Jorge M. Vivanco
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Horticulture and Landscape ArchitectureColorado State University of Fort CollinsFort CollinsUSA

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