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Inhibitory Effect of Aqueous Extracts of Tree-legumes on Germination and Seedling Growth of Food Legume, Green Gram (Vigna radiata L.)
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Methods: Collected different tree parts viz., bark, leaf and fresh flower, a matured pod of Delonix regia and Peltophorum pterocarpum, cleaned and soaked distilled water at weight/volume ratio of 1:10 for 24 hrs. Aqueous extracts were filtered and tested for inhibition of green gram. Pot culture experiments were conducted with 10 treatments and four replications. Germination (%), shoot length (cm), root length (cm), fresh weight (mg), dry weight (mg), seedling vigour index-I and vigour index-II in green gram were recorded and the magnitude of inhibition versus simulation in bioassay was compared through response index.
Result: Among the plant parts, Delonix regia flower and Peltophorum pterocarpum matured pods suppressed germination (45.00 and 60.00%), shoot length (13.87 and 13.39 cm), root length (4.27 and 10.49 cm), seedling vigour index-I (624.15 and 803.40) and seedling vigour index-II (960.75 and 948.00) respectively in green gram. This might due to presence of inhibitory chemicals in flowers of Delonix regia and matured pods of Peltophorum pterocarpum compared to other plant parts of trees.
Secondary metabolites, known as allelochemicals produced by higher plants cause a phenomenon called allelopathy which may inhibit the growth of neighboring and other plants (Albuquerque et al., 2011) and allelopathic potential of many plant species have been documented (Cheng and Cheng, 2015) and these allelopathic plant extracts are used as an alternative to synthetic herbicides for managing weeds (Iqbal et al., 2009; Khaliq et al., 2012; Mushtaq et al., 2013). Two commonly found multipurpose tree species in farmlands and village lands viz., Delonix regia (Boj.) Raf. (flamboyant) and Peltophorum pterocarpum (DC.) K.Heyne (Copperpod, Golden or yellow flamboyant; Syn. Peltophorum inermis and Peltophorum ferrugineum) seasonally shed their flowers, leaves, dead branches and bark peels on farmlands. Delonix regia (Boj.) Raf. (flamboyant) is a 10-15 m tall tree native to Madagascar and spread the world over in tropical and subtropical regions, belongs to Fabaceae family (Fig 1) used as shade, shelter, timber, fuel and in apiculture too (Orwa et al., 2009 a). Previously, it has been reported that Delonix regia substantially inhibited weeds under its canopy. Aqueous extracts of Delonix regia inhibited growth of Centella asiatica and Isachne nipponensis upto 70%. The inhibitory effect of allelochemicals in plant extracts of a tree has been well documented (Mushtaq et al., 2010).
Peltophorum pterocarpum (DC.) K. Heyne (Copperpod, Golden or yellow flamboyant; Syn. Peltophorum inermis and Peltophorum ferrugineum) also belongs to Fabaceae (Fig 2), native to tropical South-Eastern Asia and a popular ornamental tree grown around the world. It is a deciduous tree growing to 15-25 m tall, with a trunk diameter of up to 1 m, and found to contain aliphatic alcohol, fatty acids, amino acids, terpenoids, phenolics, flavonoids, alkaloids, steroids are isolated as phytochemicals in very minimal quantity from this plant (Huxley, 1992).
In line with illustrations that proof of allelopathy lies on demonstrating interference using suitable controls, describing symptoms, and quantifying growth reduction (Narwal, 2004), the present study was conducted to demonstrate allelopathic effects of different parts viz., bark, leaf, fresh flower, fresh and matured pod of two tree species Delonix regia and Peltophorum pterocarpum on the green gram. Aqueous extracts of various parts mentioned above were prepared and tested for their inhibitory effect on germination, shoot and root length (cm) as well as fresh and dry weight through poly pot culture study.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
if T = C, then RI = 0
if T < C, then RI = (T/C) –1
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Easily visible effects including retarded germination rate (Williamson et al., 1992), seeds darkening and swelling reduced radicle and shoot extension (Turk and Tawaha, 2003; Bhatt and Todaria, 1990), swelling/necrosis of root tips, discoloration, (Fig 3), lack root hairs, reduced dry weight (Ayeni et al., 1997) were observed and such visible effects were proved and reflected in response index.
Inhibition was measured by RI with a range of 1 to 5%. The highest suppression was registered in germination (45.00 and 60.00%), shoot length (13.87 and 13.39 cm) and root length (4.27 and 10.49 cm) by the flower of Delonix regia and a matured pod of Peltophorum pterocarpum aqueous extracts respectively. Though flower aqueous extracts of Delonix had high inhibition on germination, seedling growth, as against, it produced maximum fresh weight (354.65 mg) and dry weight (21.35 mg) of seedlings. But, matured pod aqueous extracts of Peltophorum which had the highest supersession on germination and seedling growth of green gram continue to maintain the inhibitory effect and produced the lowest fresh weight (227.50 mg) and dry weight (15.80 mg) of seedlings (Table 1). Seed vigour index-I and II data revealed that Delonix regia flower (624.15 and 960.75) and Peltophorum pterocarpum matured pods (803.40 and 948.00) produced very weak seedlings with the lowest vigour index values respectively when compared to aqueous extracts.
The RI indicated the highest negative values of germination (-0.430 and -0.241), shoot length (-0.187 and -0.215) and root length (-0.753 and -0.394) for flower aqueous extracts of Delonix regia and matured pod aqueous extracts of Peltophorum pterocarpum respectively. Bark aqueous extracts Delonix regia had negative RI (-0.053) for fresh weight and all other tree parts had positive RI of fresh and dry weight. Bark (-0.079) and fresh pod (-0.102) aqueous extracts of Peltophorum pterocarpum registered negative RI and all other tree parts registered positive RI for the fresh and dry weight (Table 2). Considering cumulative effects, all aqueous extracts had affected germination and seedling growth and it was in the order of root length> germination>shoot length for Delonix regia aqueous extracts and root length>shoot length>germination for Peltophorum matured pods.
Among aqueous extracts of different tree parts of both species flower aqueous extracts of Delonix regia and matured pod aqueous extracts of Peltophorum pterocarpum had registered the lowest values of germination, shoot length, root length and highest negative values of RI (Fig 4).
Delonix regia flower aqueous extracts had a more inhibitory effect which may be occupied by a variety of allelochemicals (chlorogenic acid, 4-hydroxybenzoic, 3,4- dihydroxybenzoic, 3,5-dinitrobenzoic, L-azetidine-2-carboxylic 3,4-dihydroxybenzaldehyde, 3,4-dihydroxycinnamic and gallic acid) as reported by a team of scientists (Chou and Leu, 1992; Perveen et al., 2018). Similarly, Peltophorum pterocarpum matured pod may contain more aliphatic alcohol, fatty acids, amino acids, terpenoids, phenolics, flavonoids, alkaloids, steroids chemicals as inferred by a group of scientists (Shyamal et al., 2014; Taiwo et al., 2013).
Studying the qualitative and quantitative distribution of carotenoids in flowers of Delonix regia indicated that flower petals contained 29 carotenoids viz. phytoene, phytofluene, β-carotene, γ-carotene, lycopene, rubixanthin, zeaxanthin, lutein while flower sepals contained 18 carotenoids (phytoene, phytofluene, β-carotene, γ-carotene, lycopene, etc), whereas filaments contain 20 (phytoene, β-carotene, γ-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, antheraxanthin, flavoxanthin, and other epoxy carotenoids) and anthers had the highest concentration of carotenoids with zeaxanthin accounting for 90 percent (Jungalwala and Chama, 1962). Further, alkaloids, flavonoids, proteins, tannins, carbohydrates, phenols, triterpenes, and steroids were also found in flowers of Delonix regia (Khursheed et al., 2012; Rahman et al., 2011; Shanmukha et al., 2011; Shiramane et al., 2011). The LC-MS studies characterized and confirmed the molecular structure of three major anthocyanins in water extract of Delonix regia flowers. Cyanidin 3-O-rutinoside and pelargonidin 3-O-rutinoside were identified in a concentration of 10.7 and 0.9 mg/l respectively (Adje et al., 2008) and GC-MS analysis of flower extract revealed the presence of benzenetriol, butyl-8-methylnonyl ester, lupeol, and vitamin E as major compounds (Rani et al., 2011).
About eighty-three phytochemicals have been reported in Peltophorum pterocarpum pods that include aliphatic alcohol, fatty acids, amino acids, terpenoids, phenolics, flavonoids, alkaloids, steroids (Nathan et al., 2012) and matured pods had Quercetin, Rhamnetin, Rhamnetin, Meratin and Propelargonidin compounds (Polasek et al., 2013; Menon et al., 1982).
Parafiniuk and Czerwiñska (2019) reported that bark aqueous extracts of eight tree species inhibited germination of maize, pigeon pea and sesame, with most inhibition in germination and radicle growth and plumule elongation in Ailanthus excelsa, followed by Acacia nilotica, Dalbergia sissoo while Swaminathan (1996) stated aqueous extracts of bark generally inhibiting the growth of sesame most and pigeon peas least. On the contrary same author (Swaminathan et al., 1990) in his earlier studies observed that aqueous extracts Parthenium hysterphorus weed has affected germination of four multi-purpose tree species viz., Acacia leucophloea, Casuarina equisetifolia, Eucalyptus tereticornis and Leucaena leucocephala and inhibition of germination and seedling growth is attributed to parthenin, an unsaturated lactone found in plant parts of weed species.
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