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Allelopathy—A Tool to Improve the Weed Competitive Ability of Wheat with Herbicide-Resistant Black-Grass (Alopecurus myosuroides Huds.)

Author(s): Nils-Ove Bertholdsson

Journal: Agronomy (Basel)
ISSN 2073-4395

Volume: 2;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 284;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: allelopathic | black-grass | field studies | herbicide resistance | weed competition | wheat-rye translocation lines

Controlling black-grass in winter wheat production in northern Europe is an increasing problem because of more frequent winter crops and development of herbicide resistance in weeds. Alternative weed management strategies are needed, e.g., use of more competitive cultivars. Factors that increase cultivar competitiveness include early vigor and straw length, but also allelopathy. Therefore, the allelopathic properties of wheat cultivars included in the Swedish national list or in the release pipeline were investigated using a bioassay with herbicide-resistant and herbicide-sensitive black-grass as receiver plants. Wheat-rye translocation lines were also included in this screening to identify possible sources of high allelopathic activity. The bioassay results were followed up in two-year field trials. The results revealed large variations in allelopathic activity between cultivars. Most cultivars showed interference with both herbicide-sensitive and herbicide-resistant black-grass, although the allelopathic effect was lower on the herbicide-resistant biotype. Cultivars with high allelopathic activity gave only half the black-grass biomass of low allelopathic cultivars. Dinaro, a triticale (wheat-rye hybrid) cultivar and the new wheat cultivar Nimbus showed the highest allelopathy and inhibition of black-grass growth. Only a few wheat lines with rye chromatin, all or part of a rye chromosome, showed high allelopathy. Use of cultivars with high allelopathic activity can thus be important in integrated weed management of black-grass.
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