The allelopathy of a serious weed, barnyard grass (Echinochloa crus-galli L.), was investigated. Root exudates of young barnyard grass showed allelopathic effects and plant-selective activity and inhibited root elongation of all plants tested. With respect to shoot growth, the exudates did not show inhibition of barnyard grass only. The allelopathic substance was isolated and identified as p-hydroxymandelic acid by NMR. pHydroxymandelic acid strongly inhibited shoot growth and root elongation of all plants tested. The effects of three congeners of p-hydroxymandelic acid were tested on rice shoot growth. In the biological activity exhibited in rice, shoot growth was related to the hydroxyl groups.
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