Allelopathy and Agricultural Sustainability: Implication in weed management and crop protection—an overview

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Abstract

Crop plants have defined roles in agricultural production and feeding the world. They are affected by several environmental and biological stresses, which range from soil salinity, drought, and climate change to exposure to diverse plant pathogens. These stresses pose risk to agricultural sustainability. To avoid the increasing biotic and abiotic pressure on crop plants, agrochemicals are extensively used in agriculture for attaining desirable yield and production of crops. However, the use of agrochemicals is also challenging the integrity of ecosystems. Thus, to maintain the integrity of ecosystem, sustainable measures for elevated crop production are required. Allelopathy, a process of chemical interactions between plants and other organisms, could be used in the management of several biotic and abiotic stresses if the basic mechanisms of the phenomena and plants with allelopathic potentials are known. Allelopathy has a promising future for its application in agriculture for natural weed management, improving soil health and suppressing plant diseases. The aim of this review is to discuss the importance of allelopathy in agriculture and its role in sustainability with a specific focus on weed management and crop protection.

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