Plant growth inhibitory activity and active substances with allelopathic potential of cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica) rhizome

Masahiko Suzuki, Tohru Tominaga, Osamu Ohno, Arihiro Iwasaki, Kiyotake Suenaga, Hisashi Kato-Noguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica [L.] Raeusch.) is a perennial rhizomatous grass that belongs to the Poaceae and is widely distributed in tropical, subtropical and temperate regions over the world. The grass is strongly invasive and is suggested to have allelopathic potential. However, limited information is available on allelopathic substances in cogongrass rhizomes. Therefore, the allelopathic potential and substances in cogongrass rhizomes were investigated. The extracts of cogongrass rhizomes inhibited the root and shoot growth of barnyard grass, ryegrass, timothy, cress, lettuce and alfalfa. After bioassay-guided separations of the extracts, four growth inhibitory substances, 5-methoxyflavone, 5,2′-dimethoxyflavone, methyl caffeate and abscisic acid, were isolated. 5-Methoxyflavone, 5,2′-dimethoxyflavone and methyl caffeate significantly inhibited the root and shoot growth of cress at concentrations of ≥0.03–0.3 m mol L−1 and their concentrations required for 50% growth inhibition were 0.079–0.24, 0.23–1.1 and 0.59–0.88 m mol L−1, respectively. The other isolated substance, abscisic acid, has been reported to have strong growth inhibitory activity. Its concentrations required for 50% growth inhibition on cress were 0.31–0.61 μ mol L−1. The present study suggests that cogongrass rhizomes might have allelopathic potential and that those four substances might contribute to that potential.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-98
Number of pages7
JournalWeed Biology and Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun



  • allelopathic substance
  • allelopathy
  • cogongrass
  • plant growth inhibition
  • rhizome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science

Cite this