The allelopathic, cytotoxic and genotoxic effect of Ambrosia artemisiifolia on the germination and root meristems of Zea mays.
The problem of the invasion of the invasive species Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. is particularly important for Romania and other countries. Besides the fact that this species is a strong allergen, its presence in agricultural crops can aggravate the growth and development of plants, just like other weeds. The purpose of this study was to investigate the allelopathic effect of different concentrations of aqueous extracts obtained from the above-ground part (leaves and stems) and from the underground part (roots) of Ambrosia artemisiifolia on the germination and growth of Zea mays. Furthermore, for the first time, we have conducted a study of the cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of these extracts in meristematic cells of Zea mays. All extracts, and in particular 10% above-ground extract, significantly reduced the germination of the seeds and had a different effect on the growth of maize seedlings. Also, these extracts reduced the mitotic index (MI) and induced chromosomal alterations such as multinucleated cells, C-metaphases and sticky, ring, fragment, and bridge-type chromosomes, thus revealing a strong cytotoxic and genotoxic effect on maize.