Abutilon theophrasti’s Resilience against Allelochemical-Based Weed Management in Sustainable Agriculture – Due to Collection of Highly Advantageous Microorganisms?
Sterling, Tracy M.
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Abutilon theophrasti Medik. (velvetleaf) is a problematic annual weed in field crops which has invaded many temperate parts of the world. Since the loss of crop yields can be extensive, approaches to manage the weed include not only conventional methods, but also biological methods, for instance by microorganisms releasing phytotoxins and plant-derived allelochemicals. Additionally, benzoxazinoid-rich rye mulches effective in managing common weeds like Amaranthus retroflexus L. have been tested for this purpose. However, recent methods for biological control are still unreliable in terms of intensity and duration. Rye mulches were also ineffective in managing velvetleaf. In this review, we present the attempts to reduce velvetleaf infestation by biological methods and discuss possible reasons for the failure. The resilience of velvetleaf may be due to the extraordinary capacity of the plant to collect, for its own survival, the most suitable microorganisms from a given farming site, genetic and epigenetic adaptations, and a high stress memory. Such properties may have developed together with other advantageous abilities during selection by humans when the plant was used as a crop. Rewilding could be responsible for improving the microbiomes of A. theophrasti.
Tabaglio V, Fiorini A, Sterling TM, Schulz M. Abutilon theophrasti’s Resilience against Allelochemical-Based Weed Management in Sustainable Agriculture – Due to Collection of Highly Advantageous Microorganisms? Plants. 2023; 12(4):700. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12040700