Canola cultivar performance in weed-infested field plots confirms allelopathy ranking from in vitro testing

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14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Crop competition and allelopathy are two cultural control options for possible inclusion in cropping systems. This research aimed to identify superior allelopathic canola genotypes through a two-year field study. First year screening results of 312 diverse Brassica genotypes showed genotypes differed significantly in their ability to suppress weed infestations. Crop plant height was correlated with the competitiveability of several genotypes, while other genotypes showed good weed-suppressive ability despite being short. Thirty-six of the genotypes grown in the field had been previously assessed for their allelopathic ability to inhibit the growth of annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum) seedlings using an in vitro technique. The highly allelopathic genotypes: Av-opal, Sardi603, Rivette and Atr-beacon performed well against annual ryegrass in the laboratory and also against other species, including Capsella bursapastoris,Sisymbrium orientale and Hordeum leporinum in the field. The weaklyallelopathic Barossa and X-06-6-3725 genotypes performed poorly both in the laboratory studies and in the field. The following year, field testing of selected genotypes at two sowing dates further suggested that the most allelopathic genotypes in the laboratory bioassay were generally those that suppressed weed numbers and their biomass in the field. The late sowing time increased the natural weed pressure leading to a decrease in both canola grain yield and quality. Many of the highly allelopathic canola genotypes, which caused low weed populations in the field, hadrelatively low grain yield. This suggests that the allelopathic trait is independent of local adaptation and yields potential under weed-free conditions. Ideally, cultivars with both high allelopathy and high competitive ability would be most useful to help farmers maximise yield and control weeds. Selection for allelopathy in canola shows potential as a future non-chemical weed control option and requires further investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1394-1411
Number of pages18
JournalBiocontrol Science and Technology
Volume24
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014

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