One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A chemical produced by a living organism that exerts a detrimental physiological effect on individuals of another species when released into the environment.
- ‘Various plant species are known to suppress other species by the production of allelochemicals from leaves, flowers, seeds, stems, and roots of living or decomposing plant materials.’
- ‘The question of what happens to suspected allelochemicals once they enter the soil also remains an incredibly complex matter.’
- ‘These allelochemicals are concentrated in the photosynthetic layer of the stem which is located directly under the skin of the cactus.’
- ‘Other allelochemicals have been found to be mineralized by micro-organisms under similar conditions.’
- ‘And most important, we need to be sure that allelochemicals don't harm non-target organisms, including humans.’
1970s: from Greek allēl- ‘one another’ + chemical.
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