Field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L.) seedmeal was found to suppress seedling germination/emergence and biomass accumulation when added to a sandy loam soil containing wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), arugula [Eruca vesicaria (L.) Cav. subsp. sativa (Mill.) Thell.] and sicklepod (Senna obtusifolia (L.) H.S. Irwin & Barneby) seeds. Covering the pots with petri dishes containing the soil-seedmeal mixture increased phytotoxicity at the lowest application rate, suggesting that the some of the phytotoxins were volatile. Dichloromethane, methanol and water extracts of the wetted seedmeal were bioassayed against wheat and sicklepod radicle elongation. Only the dichloromethane extract was found to be strongly inhibitory to both species. Fractionation of the dichloromethane extract identified two major phytotoxins, identified by GC-MS and NMR analyses as 2-propen-1-yl (allyl) isothiocyanate (AITC) and allyl thiocyanate (ATC), which constituted 80.9 and 18.8%, respectively, of the active fraction. When seeds of wheat, arugula and sicklepod were exposed to volatilized AITC and ATC, the germination of all three species were completely inhibited by both compounds at concentrations of 5 ppm or less.
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