Nature of phytotoxic interference of alien weed 'Calyptocarpus vialis' against some crop plants.
Calyptocarpus vialis (syn. Synedrella vialis; Asteraceae), a native of the tropical Americas, has acquired an invasive status in the eastern Asia and Africa and, of late, in India. It is an annual herbaceous weed that forms a dominant ground cover due to its prostrate expansion and interferes with the growth of other plant species. However, the reasons for this interference are largely unknown. Therefore, we examined the allelopathic interference of C. vialis via leachation and residue degradation on the emergence, growth, and development of three crop species (Brassica nigra, Triticum aestivum, and Avena sativa). In a laboratory bioassay, the leachates (0.5-4%) of C. vialis exhibited a dose-dependent inhibitory effect on various growth parameters of the test plants. Similarly, under screenhouse, C. vialis-amended soil (1-4%) affected the growth of test species in a dose-dependent manner. Further, the phytotoxicity of the residues of C. vialis was examined using rhizospheric soil (RS) and residue-amended soil (RAS). It was observed that RAS exerted the maximum allelopathic effect on the test species accompanied by significant changes in pH, electrical conductivity, and total water-soluble phenolic content, as compared with the control soil (CS) and RS. Liquid chromatography and mass spectroscopy analyses confirmed the presence of eleven allelochemicals as the major phytotoxins. The study demonstrated that C. vialis exerts strong phytotoxic effects on other plants through the release of potent allelochemicals, both via leachation and residue degradation.