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Planta. 2012 Nov;236(5):1629-38. doi: 10.1007/s00425-012-1722-y. Epub 2012 Jul 31.

Inhibition of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) root growth by cyanamide is due to altered cell division, phytohormone balance and expansin gene expression.

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Department of Plant Physiology, Warsaw University of Life Sciences-SGGW, Nowoursynowska 159, 02-776, Warsaw, Poland.


Cyanamide (CA) has been reported as a natural compound produced by hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth.) and it was shown also to be an allelochemical, responsible for strong allelopathic potential in this species. CA phytotoxicity has been demonstrated on various plant species, but to date little is known about its mode of action at cellular level. Treatment of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) roots with CA (1.2 mM) resulted in inhibition of growth accompanied by alterations in cell division, and imbalance of plant hormone (ethylene and auxin) homeostasis. Moreover, the phytotoxic effect of CA was also manifested by modifications in expansin gene expression, especially in expansins responsible for cell wall remodeling after the cytokinesis (LeEXPA9, LeEXPA18). Based on these results the phytotoxic activity of CA on growth of roots of tomato seedlings is likely due to alterations associated with cell division.

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