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  • Author or Editor: J.K. Peterson x
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Resin glycosides extracted from sweetpotato skins were bioassayed for their effects on survival, development, and fecundity of diamondback moths, Plutella xylostella (L.). Glycosides were incorporated into an artificial diet (Bio-Serv, Inc.) and fed to diamondback larvae. Neonatals were individually fed artificial diet with 0.00, 0.25, 0.50, 1.00, 1.50, and 2.00 mg·mL-1. There were highly significant negative correlations between glycoside levels and survival as well as weight of survivors after 6 days. A significant positive relationship existed between dosages and development time. Lifetime fecundity was negatively affected at sublethal doses. The glycosides are viewed as contributors to resistance to the wireworm, Diabrotica and Systena insect complex.

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Sweetpotato resin glycosides were purified by HPLC methods. Most allelopathic potential could be explained by these compounds. Fifty percent inhibition (I50) of seed germination was obtained for redroot pigweed at 160 ppm, for velvetleaf at 13 ppm and for prosomillet at 11 ppm. Seed of the congeneric species I. purpurea was not sensitive. Growth of yellow nutsedge was drastically reduced, the I50 for shoot growth was 30 ppm, for number of roots 36 ppm, and for total root length 19 ppm. The glycosides accounted for approximately half of the total fungicidal activity of all extract fractions when tested on Fusarium oxysporum pv. batatae. At 2 mg per ml, the glycosides inhibited hyphal growth by 31%. This concentration is less than 10% of the glycoside concentration in dry periderm tissue of `Regal'. The purified glycosides were incorporated into a meridic diet for diamondback moth larvae. All observed antibiosis was caused by the glycosides; the LD50 was 7.2 mg per ml diet. At that concentration the surviving larvae showed a weight decrease of 46%.

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These studies were initiated to investigate severe growth inhibition observed when some vegetable crops were infested with corn spurry (Spergula arvensis L.). Interference by a natural population of the weed reduced the shoot weights of English pea (Pisum sativum L.) and collard (Brassica oleracea L.) by 93% and 72%, respectively. In a greenhouse experiment where light competition by corn spurry was prevented, broccoli (Brassica oleracea L.) shoot weights were reduced by corn spurry, but pea weights were not different from the controls. Homogenized corn spurry shoot tissue incorporated into a greenhouse potting medium inhibited the growth of both species, and a concentration effect was observed. Sequential hexane, dichloromethane, methanol, and 50% aqueous methanol extracts of corn spurry root and shoot tissue were tested for inhibitory activity using millet seed germination and broccoli seedling growth bioassays. Dichloromethane, methanol, and aqueous methanol shoot extracts were inhibitory to broccoli; whereas all shoot extracts inhibited millet germination. Shoot extracts were more inhibitory than root extracts. Further fractionation of the inhibitors using a combination of reversed-phase sephadex LH-20 and silicic acid column chromatographic procedures showed that a major portion of the millet germination inhibition was due to sucrose esters (SE). Preliminary characterization of the esters showed that there were four different SE groups. The major groups contained either octanoic or dodecanoic acid along with butanoic and petanoic acids. All groups inhibited seed germination at concentrations as low as 20 ppm. This is the first report of the SE class of defense chemicals in plant species outside of the solanaceae family.

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