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Management of Parthenium Hysterophorus (Asteraceae) by Withania Somnifera (Solanaceae)

Javaid A, Shafique S, Shafique S. Management of Parthenium hysterophorus (Asteraceae) by Withania somnifera (Solanaceae). 1. Nat Prod Res. 2011 Feb;25(4):407-16.

This study was designed to evaluate the herbicidal activity of Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal against the noxious weed parthenium (Parthenium hysterophorus L.). In a laboratory bioassay, the effect of aqueous, methanol and n-hexane shoot and root extracts of 5%, 10%, 15% and 20% w/v concentrations (on a fresh weight basis) of W. somnifera were tested against the germination and seedling growth of parthenium. In general, aqueous and methanol extracts markedly suppressed the germination, root and shoot growth of parthenium. The shoot extracts were more inhibitory than the root extracts. In a foliar spray bioassay, the aqueous and methanol shoot extracts of 10% w/v (on a dry weight basis) concentration were sprayed on 1-week and 2-week-old pot-grown parthenium seedlings. Two subsequent sprays were carried out 5 and 10 days after the first spray. The aqueous and methanol extracts significantly reduced the length and biomass of parthenium shoots. In a soil amendment bioassay, the crushed shoots of W. somnifera were incorporated in the soil at 1-5% w/w. Parthenium seeds were sown one week after the residue incorporation and plants were harvested 40 days after sowing. All the soil amendment treatments significantly reduced seed germination by 43-89%. The highest dosages of 4% and 5% significantly suppressed the root and shoot biomasses of parthenium. This study concludes that foliar spray of aqueous and methanol extracts, and soil amendment with leaf residue of W. somnifera, can control the germination and growth of parthenium, one of the world's worst weeds.