Special lssues

Allelopathic Secondary Metabolites as Sustainable Herbicides and Pesticides to Increase Agricultural Productivity

Submission Deadline: 30 November 2022 (closed)

Guest Editors

Dr. WASEEM MUSHTAQ, Laboratory of Chemistry of Natural molecules of Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University of Liège, Belgium & Allelopathy Laboratory, Botany Department, Aligarh Muslim University, India
Dr. Mohammad Mehdizadeh, University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, Iran
Prof. Jameel M. Al-Khayri, King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia
Dr. Sanju Bala Dhull, Department of Food Science and Technology, Chaudhary Devi Lal University, India


Weeds, insects and other pests are responsible for a tremendous loss to contemporary agricultural crop productivity annually. The use of synthetic insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and other pesticides to prevent this loss disturb the ecology of biotic communities in agricultural and natural ecosystems. Excessive use of chemical pesticides may also lead to the destruction of the ecological balance in food chains. To reinforce resilience in agriculture, conservation efforts and sustainable use of agrobiodiversity are attracting attention. Allelochemicals, plant secondary metabolites involved in ecological interactions in agroecosystems may serve as important source for alternative agrochemicals. These allelochemicals are released by the plants as an outcome of interactions with other plants in their vicinity and can be used as eco-friendly substitutes for synthetic herbicides and other pesticides.


Allelopathy is a novel approach which offers sustainability by providing the techniques to eliminate harmful weeds and pest in a natural way. This science can be used in agricultural systems in such a way to reduce the necessity of chemical pesticides and consequently prevent the associated environmental degradation. Various methods such as straw mulching, aqueous extract application, crop residue amalgamation and cover crops use allelochemicals for pest, weed and disease management. Plants with reduced allelopathic potential can be genetically modified to improve their phytotoxicity and allelochemical production. Allelochemicals could then be extracted and used as biopesticides. The inclusion of these organic chemicals in modern agriculture could therefore help manage weeds and pests, and therefore enhance agricultural productivity.


New harmonizing methods based on contemporary developments in research and technology are essential to create products that are desirable for future stakeholders in agroecosystems. Therefore, we welcome original research articles and review papers focusing on plant secondary metabolites and their potential uses in sustainable agriculture. Potential topics include, but are not restricted to, the following:

Transport of allelochemicals and self-tolerance;

Weed-crop interface in agroecosystems;

Dynamics of plant secondary metabolites and their interactions with soil microbes in agroecosystems;

Abiotic stress as an elicitor to enhance alleochemicals production;

Genetic engineering to enhance allelochemicals production;

Role of plant secondary metabolites in mitigating environmental stress;

Allelochemicals as defense agents in plants against pathogens;

Distinct gene expression and metabolite profiling;

Research insight into plant allelopathic mechanism;

Herbicdal Potential of allelochemicals and their industrial applications;

Genomics of allelopathic plants;

Metabolomics of allelopathic plants.


Allelopathy; allelochemicals; secondary metabolites; metabolomics; sustainable agriculture

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