Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract Full Text

Phytotoxic and cyto-genotoxic potential of Phytolacca americana on Zea mays.


Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana L.) is an invasive weed commonly found in the Oltenia area (Romania). Considering the economic importance of maize crop, this study was carried out to investigate the phytotoxic, cytotoxic and genotoxic potential of pokeweed extracts on maize (Zea mays L.). The seeds of maize were treated with different concentrations (5%, 10% and 20%) of pokeweed extracts, under laboratory conditions, for macroscopic and microscopic analyses, respectively. A control (distilled water) was used for comparison. All extracts significantly decreased germination, root and shoot length of maize seedling, also inhibited root cell division by the reduction of the mitotic index and by the induction of chromosomal and nuclear abnormalities in the root cells of maize. Chromosome stickiness, C-mitosis, piknosis, laggards, micronuclei and nuclear erosion, were observed. Thus, the present study suggests that the allelochemicals in the extracts of P. americana have a highly toxic potential on maize, so prevention and control of this invasive plant in the agricultural fields, are really necessary.