Allelopathy in wheat (Triticum aestivum)


*Corresponding Author E-mail:


Wheat (Triticum aestivum) allelopathy has potential for the management of weeds, pests and diseases. Both wheat residue allelopathy and wheat seedling allelopathy can be exploited for managing weeds, including resistant biotypes. Wheat varieties differ in allelopathic potential against weeds, indicating that selection of allelopathic varieties might be a useful strategy in integrated weed management. Several categories of allelochemicals for wheat allelopathy have been identified, namely, phenolic acids, hydroxamic acids and short-chain fatty acids. Wheat allelopathic activity is genetically controlled and a multigenic model has been proposed. Research is underway to identify genetic markers associated with wheat allelopathy. Once allelopathic genes have been located, a breeding programme could be initiated to transfer the genes into modern varieties for weed suppression. The negative impacts of wheat autotoxicity on agricultural production systems have also been identified when wheat straws are retained on the soil surface for conservation farming purposes. A management package to avoid such deleterious effects is discussed. Wheat allelopathy requires further study in order to maximise its allelopathic potential for the control of weeds, pests and diseases, and to minimise its detrimental effects on the growth of wheat and other crops.