A phytotoxic active substance in the decomposing litter of the fern Gleichenia japonica

Hisashi Kato-Noguchi, Yoshihumi Saito, Osamu Ohno, Kiyotake Suenaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The fern Gleichenia japonica often dominates plant communities by forming large monospecific stands throughout the temperate to tropical Asia. The objective of this study was the investigation of allelopathic property and substances of the decomposing litter of the fern to evaluate the possible involvement of its allelopathy in the domination. An aqueous methanol extract of G. japonica litter inhibited the growth of garden cress (Lepidium sativum), lettuce (Lactuca sativa), barnyard grass (Echinochloa crus-galli), and ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum). This result suggests that G. japonica litter contains growth inhibitory substances. The extract was purified by chromatography while monitoring the inhibitory activity, and a growth inhibitory substance was isolated. The chemical structure of the substance was determined by spectral data to be a novel compound, 13-. O-β-fucopyranosyl-3β-hydroxymanool. This compound inhibited root and shoot growth of garden cress and barnyard grass at concentrations ranging from 89.7 to 271. μM for 50% inhibition. In addition, the compound had potent growth inhibitory activity with the soil taken from near the colony. The concentration of the compound in soil under a pure colony of G. japonica was 790. μM, suggesting that the compound may contribute to the establishment of monocultural stands by this fern.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-60
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Plant Physiology
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Mar 5


  • Allelopathy
  • Gleichenia japonica
  • Growth inhibitor
  • Monospecific colonies
  • Phytotoxity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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