Cyanamide mode of action during inhibition of onion (Allium cepa L.) root growth involves disturbances in cell division and cytoskeleton formation.

PMID 21573814


Cyanamide is an allelochemical produced by hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth.). Its phyotoxic effect on plant growth was examined on roots of onion (Allium cepa L.) bulbs. Water solution of cyanamide (2-10 mM) restricted growth of onion roots in a dose-dependent manner. Treatment of onion roots with cyanamide resulted in a decrease in root growth rate accompanied by a decrease in accumulation of fresh and dry weight. The inhibitory effect of cyanamide was reversed by its removal from the environment, but full recovery was observed only for tissue treated with this chemical at low concentration (2-6 mM). Cytological observations of root tip cells suggest that disturbances in cell division may explain the strong cyanamide allelopathic activity. Moreover, in cyanamide-treated onion the following changes were detected: reduction of mitotic cells, inhibition of proliferation of meristematic cells and cell cycle, and modifications of cytoskeleton arrangement.

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