Effects of Coumarin on Amylase Activity, Electrolyte Leakage and Growth of Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and Sesame (Sesamum indicium L.)

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran

2 Department of Agronomy and Plant Breeding, Agriculture Institute, Research Institute of Zabol, Zabol, Iran


Coumarin as a secondary metabolite widely found in plant species. Coumarin with a strong inhibitory effect on germination will be a good alternative for weed control. The mechanism of inhibition effects of coumarin has not yet been well understood. In this research, coumarin effects on amylase activity, electrolyte leakage and growth of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) were studied using factorial statistical design. Results showed that coumarin with a concentration-dependent pattern (0.2 to 0.5 mM) reduced all growth indices. Coumarin had the greatest effect on root length and leaf length of seedlings. The results showed that the species sensitivity and resistance to coumarin are significantly different. Coumarin had no significant concentration-dependent decrease in amylase activity. Coumarin (0.2 mM and 20 mM) increased the electrical conductivity of the solution around the seeds and roots of wheat seedlings. The mechanism of coumarin inhibition may be through its inhibitory effect on the expression of amylase genes.  Increased electrical conductivity in the periphery of the living tissue can result in electrolyte leakage and damage to seed and root cell membranes which is called one of the mechanisms of coumarin inhibition of germination. Some allelopathic properties of coumarin may be attributed to its effect on amylase activity, cell membrane integrity, and stimulation of metabolite leakage in competing plants. Allelopathic studies of coumarin can be used in the field to weed and pest control and have a practical result.

Graphical Abstract

Effects of Coumarin on Amylase Activity, Electrolyte Leakage and Growth of Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and Sesame (Sesamum indicium L.)


  • Concentrations of more than 0.2 mM of Coumarin completely stop the growth indices of wheat, barley, and sesame species.
  • Coumarin (20 mM) increases the electrical conductivity.
  • Increased electrical conductivity in the peripheral of the living tissue is the result of electrolyte leakage.
  • At lower concentrations, the species sensitivity and resistance to Coumarin are significantly different.


Main Subjects

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