Arabidopsis thaliana: A new test species for phytotoxic bioassays

Marcello Pennacchio*, Lara V. Jefferson, Kayri Havens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Lettuce seeds (Lactuca sativa L.) and other crop species are often used in phytotoxic bioassays that are designed to detect allelochemicals. The seeds of these species are considered ideal because they are readily available, germinate rapidly and uniformly, and are routinely used in laboratories around the world. Despite their common use, however, the seeds of these species are often not as sensitive or responsive to some phytotoxic chemicals as are the seeds of other species. While searching for a more sensitive test species for phytotoxic bioassays, the Columbia ecotype of Arabidopsis thaliana exhibited greater sensitivity to seven potent allelochemicals than did lettuce seeds, which, in some cases, did not respond at all to those substances. Sensitivity satisfies one of the criteria for selecting a test species for bioassays. We now report on the results of our study and offer additional reasons for using A. thaliana seeds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1877-1885
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2005


  • Allelochemicals
  • Allelopathy
  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • Lactuca sativa
  • Phytotoxic bioassays
  • Phytotoxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry


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