An organ-specific-growth inhibitory substance was isolated from an aqueous methanol extract of red pine needles and determined by spectral data as 1-mono(16-hydroxyhexadecanoyl)glycerol. This substance inhibited root growth of cress (Lepidium sativum L.) and barnyard grass (Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) Beauv) seedlings at concentrations greater than 0.01 and 0.03 μM, respectively. The concentrations required for 50 % growth inhibition on roots of cress and barnyard grass were 0.16 and 3.4 μM, respectively. However, the inhibitory activity of the substance on shoots of cress and barnyard grass was very weak. The endogenous concentration of 1-mono(16-hydroxyhexadecanoyl)glycerol in the pine needles was 4.6 μmol kg -1. Two related compounds, 1-monohexadecanoylglycerol and 16-hydroxyhexadecanlic acid had no activity up to 1,000 μM on cress roots and shoots. The effectiveness of 1-mono(16-hydroxyhexadecanoyl)glycerol on root growth inhibition and the occurrence of 1-mono(16-hydroxyhexadecanoyl)glycerol in pine needles suggest the substance may play an important role in the allelopathy of red pine. Root-specific-growth-inhibition by the substance may be one of the strategies for red pine to compete with neighboring plants for nutrients and space because root growth of competitive plants may be very important for their whole plant development.
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