Title page for ETD etd-10132005-152523

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Abdaoui, Fatima El
URN etd-10132005-152523
Title Allelopathic effects of ferulic, gallic, and vanillic acids on corn (Zea mays L.)
Degree PhD
Department Plant Physiology and Weed Science
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Hagood, Edward Scott Jr. Committee Chair
Derr, Jeffrey F. Committee Member
Hatzios, Kriton K. Committee Member
Parrish, David J. Committee Member
White, Robert H. Committee Member
  • Germination Research
  • Corn
Date of Defense 1991-01-03
Availability restricted
Studies on the activity of femlic, gallic, and vanillic acids on germination

and growth of corn (Zea mays L.), radish (Raphanus sativus L.), and peanut

(Arachis hypogaea L.) showed that the inhibitory effects of these acids were

concentration and growth variable dependent. Ten days after treatment,

significant reduction in percent germination of the three species occurred with

higher phenolic acid treatments, except that gallic acid did not significantly inhibit

peanut germination. Among the growth parameters investigated, root elongation

and dry weight were more affected than either germination or shoot length and

dry weight. Radish and corn were more sensitive than peanut.

In two-combination experiments, the interactive effects of phenolic acids on

corn germination and shoot growth were generally not significant, indicating an

additive effect. Femlic acid, generally, antagonized higher concentrations of

vanillic or gallic acids on corn root length and dry weight, suggesting a differential

uptake of phenolic acids by corn roots or a limited uptake of gallic and vanillic

acids in the presence of ferulic acid. In a soil system, higher and repeated

phenolic acid treatments were required to bring about inhibition of corn growth

than those which were effective in petri dishes.

All levels of the synthetic auxin, 2,4-D (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid) were

effective in reversing the inhibitory effects of 1 mM ferulic acid on corn root

length when these two acids were applied in combination. No 2,4-D treatment

counteracted 10 mM of ferulic acid. All levels of 2,4-D combined with 1 mM

ferulic acid and the mixture of 0.1 nM 2,4-D with 10 mM ferulic acid were

antagonistic for corn shoot length. No significant interactions were obtained on

corn germination or seedling growth when 2,4-D was combined with gallic acid.

Using manometric techniques, no inhibitory effects of ferulic or gallic acids

observed on 02 consumption of germinating corn seeds. Ferulic acid did not

interfere with water uptake of corn seeds during imbibition and germination.

These findings indicate that the phytotoxicity of these acids observed on corn

germination and seedling growth are not due to their interference with water

uptake and respiratory activity of germinating seeds.

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