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Determination of indicative species and comparison of sunflower genotypes as to their allelopathic potential

In modern agriculture, the chemical method is the most used for weed control because it is highly efficient, easy to apply, and demands limited labor. However, the inadequate use of chemical products can lead to environmental and human health problems. Thus, there is a growing need to search for alternative weed control methods using substances which are less energy-demanding, less toxic and less aggressive to the environment. This work aimed to evaluate the allelopathic potential of sunflower (Helianthus annuus) culture on different weed and cultivated species, in two experiments conducted in a completely randomized design, using the relay seeding technique. The first experiment was carried out with four repetitions, in a bi-factorial scheme. The first factor was constituted by six indicative target species: beggarticks (Bidens spp.), common morninglory (Ipomoea grandifolia), pigweed (Amaranthus hybridus), lettuce (Lactuca sativa, cv. Aurélia), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum, cv. Santa Cruz), and wheat (Triticum aestivum, cv. BRS 208).The second factor was constituted by the presence or absence of sunflower seedlings. The relay seeding technique was applied. The second experiment was composed by 24 treatments including 23 sunflower genotypes and a control without sunflower, with four repetitions. The indicative species was only the beggarticks. In both experiments, at the end of seven coexistence days, number of germinated seeds, and root and aerial part length of the target species were evaluated. No difference was observed among the germination percentages of the indicative species evaluated in the presence or absence of the sunflower plants. The presence of the sunflower plants stimulated tomato and wheat root growth and inhibited the growth of the beggartick, wheat and common morninglory aerial parts. There was great variability of the potential allelopathic effect of the sunflower genotypes on germination and root and aerial part length of Bidens pilosa. The results show that the relay seeding technique is adapted to discriminate stimulating and inhibiting effects of sunflower among indicative species and to discriminate sunflower genotypes in their ability to inhibit or stimulate Bidens pilosa plants.

allelopathy; relay seeding technique; indicative species selection; genotype selection

Sociedade Brasileira da Ciência das Plantas Daninhas Departamento de Fitotecnia - DFT, Universidade Federal de Viçosa - UFV, 36570-000 - Viçosa-MG - Brasil, Tel./Fax::(+55 31) 3899-2611 - Viçosa - MG - Brazil