Since red pine (Pinus densiflora Sieb. et Zucc.) often forms sparse forest floors where herbaceous plants do not grow well, allelopathy of red pine was investigated. A growth inhibitory substance was isolated from an aqueous methanol extract of red pine needles and determined by spectral data as abscisic acid-β-d-glucopyranosyl ester (ABA-GE). This substance inhibited root and shoot growth of cress and E. crus-galli seedlings at concentrations greater than 0. 1 μM. The concentrations required for 50% growth inhibition on roots and shoots of cress were 0.23 and 0.61 μM, respectively, and those of E. crus-galli were 1. 1 and 2. 8 μM, respectively. The activity of ABA-β-d-glucosidase, which liberates free ABA from ABA-GE, in cress and E. crus-galli seedlings was 13-29 nmol mg-1 protein min-1. Endogenous concentration of ABA-GE in the pine needles was 4. 1-21. 5 μmol kg-1 and the concentration in soil water of the pine forest was 2. 5 μM. The effectiveness of ABA-GE on growth inhibition and the occurrence of ABA-GE in pine needles and soil water suggest ABA-GE may play an important role in the allelopathy of red pine resulting in the formation of sparse forest floors.
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