Changes in chemical structure and biological activity of L-DOPA as influenced by an Andosol and its components

Syuntaro Hiradate, Akihiro Furubayashi, Yoshiharu Fujii

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Velvetbean (Mucuna pruriens) has been reported to release 3-(3′,4′-dihydroxyphenyl)-L-alanine (L-DOPA) as an allelochemical that inhibits the growth of other plants, although the inhibitory activity depends on the soil type and it is extremely reduced in Andosols. To clarify the effects of Andosols and their components on the chemical structure and plant-growth-inhibitory activity of L-DOPA, an L-DOPA solution was reacted with an Andosol and its components (weathered pumice and purified allophane), and the resultant solution was subjected to 1H nuclear magnetic resonance and ultraviolet-visible spectral analyses, and plant-growth-inhibitory activity tests. When the L-DOPA solution was added to the soil components, the concentration of L-DOPA in the solution decreased by adsorption and transformation (polymerization) reactions. The adsorption mechanism included a ligand exchange reaction. The rate of L-DOPA transformation was faster at higher pH values. The soil components displayed a catalytic activity and accelerated the transformation of L-DOPA. Similar transformation occurred when light was irradiated. At pH values higher than 4.0, the transformed products from L-DOPA consisted of humic substances-like heterogeneous components, whereas specific components with low molecular weight were included when L-DOPA was transformed at a pH value of 9.7 or higher. The plant-growth-inhibitory activity of L-DOPA was extremely weakened when L-DOPA was adsorbed on or transformed (polymerized) by soil components. Therefore, in soils with high abilities of adsorption and transformation of L-DOPA such as in Andosols, it was likely that the L-DOPA concentration in the soil solution decreased quickly by adsorption and transformation reactions and the allelopathic activity of L-DOPA was lost.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-484
Number of pages8
JournalSoil Science and Plant Nutrition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Soil Science
  • Plant Science


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