Allelochemicals in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.): Variation of phenolic acids in shoot tissues

Hanwen Wu, Terrence Haig, James Pratley, Deirdre Lemerle, Min An

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80 Citations (Scopus)


Seven known phenolic acids implicated in wheat allelopathy were analyzed in a worldwide collection of 58 wheat accessions by gas chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS-MS). Chemical analysis showed that accessions differed significantly in the production of p-hydroxybenzoic, vanillic, syringic, trans-p-coumaric, cis-p-coumaric, trans-ferulic, and cis-ferulic acids in the shoots of 17-day-old wheat seedlings. The concentrations of p-hydroxybenzoic, vanillic, cis-p-coumaric, and cis-ferulic acids were normally distributed in the 58 accessions. A binormal distribution was found for syringic and trans-ferulic acids and a skewed normal distribution for trans-p-coumaric acid. The concentration of each compound also varied with phenolic acids. The relative abundance of each phenolic acid was ordered decreasingly as trans-ferulic, vanillic, trans-p-coumaric, p-hydroxybenzoic, syringic, cis-ferulic, and cis-p-coumaric acids. The concentration of total identified phenolic acids varied from 93.2 to 453.8 mg/kg in the shoots of 58 accessions. The content of each phenolic acid or group was highly associated with others in the shoots of wheat seedlings. Wheat accessions with high levels of total identified phenolic acids in the shoots are generally strongly allelopathic to the growth of annual ryegrass.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-135
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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