Physiological and cell ultrastructure disturbances in wheat seedlings generated by Chenopodium murale hairy root exudate.
Chenopodium murale L. is an invasive weed species significantly interfering with wheat crop. However, the complete nature of its allelopathic influence on crops is not yet fully understood. In the present study, the focus is made on establishing the relation between plant morphophysiological changes and oxidative stress, induced by allelopathic extract. Phytotoxic medium of C. murale hairy root clone R5 reduced the germination rate (24% less than control value) of wheat cv. Nataša seeds, as well as seedling growth, diminishing shoot and root length significantly, decreased total chlorophyll content, and induced abnormal root gravitropism. The R5 treatment caused cellular structural abnormalities, reflecting on the root and leaf cell shape and organization. These abnormalities mostly included the increased number of mitochondria and reorganization of the vacuolar compartment, changes in nucleus shape, and chloroplast organization and distribution. The most significant structural changes were observed in cell wall in the form of amoeboid protrusions and folds leading to its irregular shape. These structural alterations were accompanied by an oxidative stress in tissues of treated wheat seedlings, reflected as increased level of H2O2 and other ROS molecules, an increase of radical scavenging capacity and total phenolic content. Accordingly, the retardation of wheat seedling growth by C. murale allelochemicals may represent a consequence of complex activity involving both cell structure alteration and physiological processes.