Environmental contamination, herbicide resistance development among weeds and health concerns due to over and misuse of synthetic herbicides has led the researchers to focus on alternative weed management strategies. Allelochemicals extracted from various plant species can act as natural weed inhibitors. In this study, allelopathic extracts from four plant species sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench], mulberry (Morus alba L.), barnyard grass [Echinochloa crusgalli (L.) Beauv.], winter cherry [Withania somnifera (L.)] were tested for their potential to inhibit the most problematic wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) weeds wild oat (Avena fatua L.) and canary grass (Phalaris minor Ritz.). Data regarding time to start germination, time to 50% germination, mean germination time, final germination percentage, germination energy, root and shoot length, number of roots, number of leaves, and seedling fresh and dry weight was recorded for both the weeds, which showed that mulberry was the most inhibitory plant species while sorghum showed least allelopathic suppression against wild oat. Mulberry extracts resulted in a complete inhibition of the wild oat germination. The allelopathic potential for different plants against wild oat was in the order: mulberry > winter cherry > barnyard grass > sorghum. Mulberry, barnyard grass and winter cherry extracts resulted in a complete inhibition of canary grass. Sorghum however exhibited least suppressive or in some cases stimulatory effects on canary grass. Plants revealing strong allelopathic potential can be utilized to derive natural herbicides for weed control.
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