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Spatial and temporal dynamics of root exudation: how important is heterogeneity in allelopathic interactions?
Journal of Chemical Ecology (2014)
  • Jeffrey D Weidenhamer, Ashland University
  • Brian K Mohney, Ashland University
  • Nader Shihada, Ashland University
  • Maduka Rupasinghe, Ashland University
Understanding allelopathy has been hindered by the lack of methods available to monitor the dynamics of allelochemicals in the soil. Previous work has demonstrated the feasibility of using polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microtubing (silicone tubing microextraction, or STME) to construct sampling devices to monitor the release of lipophilic allelochemicals from plant roots. The objective of this study was to use such sampling devices to intensively monitor thiophene fluxes beneath marigolds over several weeks to gain insight into the magnitude of temporal and spatial heterogeneity in these fluxes. Marigolds were grown in rhizoboxes (20.5 x 20.5 x 3.0 cm) with 16 individual STME samplers per box. Thiophene sampling and HPLC analysis began 45 days after planting. At the end of the study, roots around each sampler were analyzed by HPLC. Results confirmed the tremendous spatial and temporal heterogeneity in thiophene production seen in our previous studies. STME probes show that thiophene concentrations generally increase over time; however, these effects were sampling-port specific. When sampling ports were monitored at 12 h intervals, fluxes at each port ranged from 0 to 2,510 ng day−1. Fluxes measured over daylight hr averaged 29 % higher than those measured overnight. Fluxes were less than 1 % on average of the total thiophene content of surrounding roots. While the importance of such heterogeneity, or “patchiness”, in the root zone has been recognized for soil nutrients, the potential importance in allelopathic interactions has seldom been considered. The reasons for this variability are unclear, but are being investigated. Our results demonstrate that STME can be used as a tool to provide a more finely-resolved picture of allelochemical dynamics in the root zone than has previously been available.
  • Allelopathy,
  • Passive sampling,
  • PDMS,
  • Rhizosphere,
  • Root exudation,
  • Silicone tubing microextraction,
  • Tagetes patula
Publication Date
Citation Information
Jeffrey D Weidenhamer, Brian K Mohney, Nader Shihada and Maduka Rupasinghe. "Spatial and temporal dynamics of root exudation: how important is heterogeneity in allelopathic interactions?" Journal of Chemical Ecology Vol. 40 Iss. 8 (2014)
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