Allelopathy and exotic plant invasion: From molecules and genes to species interactions

Harsh P. Bais, Ramarao Vepachedu, Simon Gilroy, Ragan M. Callaway, Jorge M. Vivanco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Here we present evidence that Centaurea maculosa (spotted knapweed), an invasive species in the western United States, displaces native plant species by exuding the phytotoxin (-)-catechin from its roots. Our results show inhibition of native species' growth and germination in field soils at natural concentrations of (-)-catechin. In susceptible species such as Arabidopsis thaliana, the allelochemical triggers a wave of reactive oxygen species (ROS) initiated at the root meristem, which leads to a Ca2+ signaling cascade triggering genome-wide changes in gene expression and, ultimately, death of the root system. Our results support a "novel weapons hypothesis" for invasive success.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1377-1380
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume301
Issue number5638
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 5 2003

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