Metasequoia glyptostroboides Hu et W.C. Cheng is one of the oldest living conifer species, and it has remained unchanged for millions of years compared to its fossils from the Cretaceous period. The species are cultivated in the parks, gardens, and roadsides in many countries. We investigated the allelopathy and allelopathic substances in fallen leaves of M. glyptostroboides. An aqueous methanol extract of the fallen leaves inhibited the growth of cress (Lepidium sativum L.), lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.), alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), Lolium multiflorum Lam., Phleum pretense L., and Vulpia myuros (L.) C.C.Gmel. The extract was then purified by several chromatographic steps, and two allelopathic substances were isolated and determined by spectral data to be (+)-rhododendrol and 9-epi-blumenol C. The compound inhibited the growth of cress and L. multiflorum. M. glyptostroboides is a deciduous perennial tree, and accumulation of its fallen leaves occur on the soil under the trees. Therefore, those allelopathic substances in the fallen leaves may be liberated into the rhizo-sphere soil during the decomposition process of fallen leaves and provide a competitive advantage for M. glyptostrob through the growth inhibition of competing plant species nearby. Therefore, M. glyptostroboides is allelopathic, and (+)-rhododendrol and 9-epi-blumenol C may be contribute to the allelopathy.
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