The importance of analytical techniques in allelopathy studies with the reported allelochemical catechin as an example

Amy Blair, Leslie Weston, Scott Nisson, G. R. Brunk, Ruth Hufbauer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    37 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Allelopathy can be challenging to demonstrate.Developing rigorous analytical techniques to detect and quantify compound(s) of interest from soil or liquid media lays the foundation for designing ecologically relevant experiments that incorporate candidate allelochemicals. In this paper, fundamental components of analytical techniques, including method development, validation, and appropriate controls are discussed. Research on the candidate allelochemical from spotted knapweed, catechin, isused as an example to demonstrate the importance of including these components both during data collection and in subsequent publications. This example shows how contrasting results between research groups can be difficult to interpret when information on controls and method validation are not included in publications. Recent research suggests that catechin is not likely driving spotted knapweed's invasion, and thus future research on this system should focus on alternate candidate toxins from spotted knapweed. By employing appropriate analytical techniques, such as those outlined here, a strong foundation can be laid for ecologically oriented experiments that examine the role of allelochemicals in structuring communities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)325-332
    Number of pages8
    JournalBiological Invasions
    Volume11
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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