The allelochemical sorgoleone is produced in and released from the root hairs of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor). Studies have confirmed that it is the release of sorgoleone that causes the phytotoxic properties of sorghum, and sorgoleone has a potential to become a new natural herbicide, or the weed suppressive activity of sorghum can be utilized in integrated weed management. Since sorgoleone is released into soil, knowledge of the fate of sorgoleone in soil is essential if it is to be utilized as an herbicide. Fate studies will characterize the persistence and mobility of the compound. Three types of radioactively labelled sorgoleone were produced and used to study mineralization (complete degradation to CO2) of this lipid benzoquinone in four soils, two from the United States of America (Mississippi) and two from Denmark. The studies showed that sorgoleone was mineralized in all soils tested. The methoxy group of sorgoleone was readily mineralized, whereas mineralization of the remaining molecule was slower. Mineralization kinetics indicated that microorganisms in American soils were able to use sorgoleone as a source of energy.
- Programområde 2: Vandressourcer