Water Stress Increases Alkaloid Concentrations in Threadleaf Groundsel (Senecio longilobus) Academic Article uri icon


  • The influence of water stress on toxic alkaloid concentrations in threadleaf groundsel (Senecio longilobus Benth.) was investigated in a controlled environment by monitoring leaf xylem water potential during a 32-day period, and then analyzing for alkaloid concentration by plant part. Total plant alkaloid concentration increased with increasing severity of water stress. The most severe water stress (2.0 MPa) for the 32-day period increased alkaloid concentration by 4.6 times, compared to the least stress imposition (1.0 MPa). Averaged across watering regimes, alkaloid concentrations (percent dry weight) were highest in threadleaf groundsel roots (0.088%) and occurred in similar concentrations in stems (0.046%) and leaves (0.050%). These results indicate the importance of considering the influence of plant water stress when investigating secondary plant compounds.

published proceedings

  • Weed Science

author list (cited authors)

  • Briske, D. D., & Camp, B. J.

citation count

  • 32

complete list of authors

  • Briske, David D||Camp, Bennie J

publication date

  • January 1982