Biological Invasions (2011) 13, 3015-3025

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Aaron Cantor, Alison Hale, Justin Aaron, M. Brian Traw and Susan Kalisz (2011)
Low allelochemical concentrations detected in garlic mustard-invaded forest soils inhibit fungal growth and AMF spore germination
Biological Invasions 13 (12), 3015-3025
Abstract: Garlic mustard's (Alliaria petiolata, Brassicaceae) invasive success is attributed in part to its release of allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) into the soil. AITC can disrupt beneficial arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) associated with native plant roots, which limits their soil resource uptake. However, AITC and its precursor, sinigrin, have never been detected in garlic mustard-invaded forest soils. Here, we use high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to assess the concentration and bioactivity of these putative allelochemicals in paired forest plots uninvaded or invaded by garlic mustard. Our methods detected AITC and sinigrin only where garlic mustard was present and our recovery of AITC/sinigrin coincided with adult senescence. A bioassay of in situ fungal hyphae abundance revealed significantly reduced hyphal abundance in the presence of garlic mustard relative to uninvaded soils. Finally, the lowest concentration of AITC measured in the field (~0.001 mM) is highly inhibitory to the spore germination of a forest AMF species, Glomus clarum. Together, our data provide the first direct evidence of garlic mustard-produced sinigrin and AITC in forest soils and demonstrate that even low levels of these chemicals have the potential to significantly suppress AMF growth and spore germination, strengthening their status as allelopathic novel weapons.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): Susan Kalisz, M. Brian Traw

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
environment - cropping system/rotation
general biology - morphology - evolution

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.

Alliaria petiolata (weed) U.S.A. (NE)