The effects of ferulic acid on the mineral nutrition of grain sorghum


Two week old sorghum seedlings (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) were treated with ferulic acid added to the nutrient solution. Effects on tissue concentration of P, K, Mg, Ca, Fe, and Zn were evaluated after 3 and 6 days. Treatemnts of 0.25 m M ferulic acid approximated the growth inhibition threshold, and after 6 days 0.5 m M treated plants weighed less than controls. Both treatments reduced the P content of the roots and shoots at the 3- and 6-day harvests in three replicate experiments. Roots of treated plants at both harvests had a lower concentration of K and Mg. These reductions in P, K, and Mg were most extensive from the 0.5 m M ferulic acid regime. In some cases at both harvests, shoot K was lower and Mg was higher than control tissue. Ferulic acid effects at the 3-day harvest included an elevation of Ca and depression of Fe in shoots. Changes in nutrient content preceded measurable differences in plant weight. These data indicate that one mechanism of growth inhibition by this allelochemical may be an alteration of nutrient balance.

Document Type





Allelopathy, Ferulic acid, Magnesium, Mineral content, Phosphorus, Potassium Sorghum bicolor

Publication Date


Journal Title

Plant and Soil