Submitted Successfully!
Thank you for your contribution! You can also upload a video entry or images related to this topic.
Ver. Summary Created by Modification Content Size Created at Operation
1 + 1356 word(s) 1356 2021-12-16 04:37:49 |
2 Format change Meta information modification 1356 2021-12-20 02:34:31 | |
3 Format change Meta information modification 1356 2021-12-20 04:11:18 |

Video Upload Options

Do you have a full video?


Are you sure to Delete?
If you have any further questions, please contact Encyclopedia Editorial Office.
Abbasi, S. Fertilizer-Cum-Pesticide Effect of the Toxic Weed Lantana. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 28 November 2023).
Abbasi S. Fertilizer-Cum-Pesticide Effect of the Toxic Weed Lantana. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed November 28, 2023.
Abbasi, Shahid. "Fertilizer-Cum-Pesticide Effect of the Toxic Weed Lantana" Encyclopedia, (accessed November 28, 2023).
Abbasi, S.(2021, December 17). Fertilizer-Cum-Pesticide Effect of the Toxic Weed Lantana. In Encyclopedia.
Abbasi, Shahid. "Fertilizer-Cum-Pesticide Effect of the Toxic Weed Lantana." Encyclopedia. Web. 17 December, 2021.
Fertilizer-Cum-Pesticide Effect of the Toxic Weed Lantana

Lantana (L. camara), which is acknowledged as one among the 100 most invasive and colonizing of the world’s weeds, has become a major threat to agriculture and forest ecosystems. It has the ability to grow in widely varying environmental conditions, often forming large, impenetrable, thickets. This entry is to compare fertilizer-cum-pesticide effect of vermicomposts derived from cowdung and the toxic weed lantana. It has shown that vermicomposting transforms lantana into an organic fertilizer which is as benign and potent as vermicomposts  based on cowdung and other manures are.

allelopathy lantadene weeds control organic fertilizer vermicomposting

1. Background

The epigeic earthworm Eisenia foetida are used  for vermicomposting lantana [1]. Extensive investigations to characterize the lantana vermicompost (LVC) using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, thermal gravimetry, differential calorimetric analysis, gas chromatography, and scanning electron micrography (SEM) have revealed intense mineralization of the organic matter, degradation of lignocellulosic materials and polyphenols, reduction of toxic and allelopathic compounds (phenols and sesquiterpene lactones) in the course of lantana’s vermicomposting. SEM has reflected strong disaggregation of the organic matter content in LVC compared to the lantana matrices. Further, in a controlled study, Hussain et al. [2], have observed that LVC enhanced the germination of the seeds, and early growth of the seedlings of ladies finger, green gram (Vigna radiata) and cucumber (Cucumis sativus) when used at appropriate concentrations in soil. However, beyond certain level lantana vermicompost had shown adverse effects. This had raised apprehensions as to whether LVC behaves differently from cow-dung vermicompost (CDVC). It was, therefore, decided to compare the effects of LVC and CDVC under identical conditions. Accordingly, to carry out this study in which the effect of CDVC has been compared with that of lantana vermicompost on the growth, fruition and quality of the ladies finger produce.

2. Seed Germination

The findings are summarized in Figure 1. Vermicompost treatments significantly enhanced the seed germination compared with the controls (Figure 1a), however no statistically significant variation was seen between the effects of the cowdung and the lantana vermicompost treatments. The highest germination success (95%) was seen in 5 t ha−1 lantana vermicompost (LVC) treatment. The next best success (94%) occurred in the 3.75 t ha−1 cowdung vermicompost (CDVC) treatment. Even though seed germination is primarily an internally regulated mechanism which is governed by the genotype of the plant, several environmental factors and fertilization regimes can also alter the germination success [3]. Several of the studies have suggested that besides the plant hormones and phenolic compounds, increased nitrate and ammonium concentrations in the vermicompost play a strong role in seed germination [4][5].
Figure 1. Effect of LVC Agriculture 11 01263 i001 and CDVC Agriculture 11 01263 i002 on ladies fingerin terms of (a) germination success; (b) length of shoots; (c) length of roots; (d) plant biomass; (e) shoot diameter; (f) number of leaves; (g) number of branches; and (h) disease incidence. All the bars carry range of standard deviation. Bars topped with an asterisk indicate that the corresponding numbers do not differ significantly from the controls at p ≤ 0.05. N indicate the vermicompost treatments.

3. Plant Growth

Ladies finger plants grown in VC amended soils have shown enhanced growth in terms of all the variables recorded (Figure 1b–g). Within the range of vermicompost concentrations explored by us, the trend of positive effect was: greater the vermicompost application more the benefit. Apart from the number of leaves in CDVC, all trends had the pattern 5 t > 3.75 t > 2.5 t ha−1 > control. Except for the length of the roots, the growth of ladies finger went up profusely even when the concentration of both the vermicomposts was increased only marginally (from zero to 2.5 t ha−1). Similar observations were recorded for flowering, where higher LVC treatments yielded a greater number of flowers and induced earlier flowering relative to the controls and the lower LVC treatments. In case of CDVC, the 3.75 t ha−1 treatment performed better than other treatments (Table 1).
Table 1. Flowering and yield of A. esculentus plants grown in soil fertilized with different levels of lantana and cowdung vermicomposts. The numbers which do not differ significantly from controls (p < 0.05) carry an asterisk. Single, double, and triple stars indicate the significance levels at p < 0.5, <0.01 and <0.001, respectively.
Parameters Observed Type of VC Vermicompost Concentrations (t/ha) ANOVA
0 2.5 3.75 5 Type of Vermicompost (VC) Concentration of Vermicompost (N) VC*N
Days to flower LCVC 52.7 ± 4.85 43.2 ± 2.30 39.0 ± 3.37 37.3 ± 2.41 NS *** NS
CDVC 43.3 ± 2.75 38.6 ± 2.84 39.3 ± 2.79
No. of flowers LCVC 2.9 ± 0.32 9.0 ± 1.05 16.3 ± 1.16 18.0 ± 2.16 *** *** ***
CDVC 8.3 ± 0.95 12.8 ± 1.32 10.1 ± 0.88
No. of pods LCVC 1.7 ± 0.48 6.2 ± 0.63 13.7 ± 1.06 16.2 ± 2.10 *** *** ***
CDVC 6.5 ± 0.53 10.8 ± 1.03 8.6 ± 0.52
Length of pods (cm) LCVC 7.1 ± 0.50 10.9 ± 1.11 11.6 ± 0.94 13.1 ± 1.34 NS ** *
CDVC 11.1 ± 0.98 11.7 ± 0.69 11.5 ± 1.10
Diameter of pods (mm) LCVC 11.4 ± 0.70 15.4 ± 1.04 16.0 ± 0.96 16.3 ± 0.72 NS * NS
CDVC 15.6 ± 0.77 16.7 ± 1.00 15.9 ± 1.21
Weight of pods/plant (g) LCVC 5.4 ± 0.50 91.9 ± 9.30 143.8 ± 8.47 170.5 ± 16.2 *** *** ***
CDVC 61.8 ± 6.20 101.6 ± 8.98 85.7 ± 8.72
Yield t/ha LCVC 0.5 ± 0.05 9.0 ± 0.91 14.1 ± 0.83 16.8 ± 1.60 *** *** ***
CDVC 6.1 ± 0.61 10.0 ± 0.88 8.4 ± 0.86
Percentage infected fruits LCVC 39.2 ± 12.39 9.3 ± 3.79 9.1 ± 5.42 8.0 ± 4.73 NS * NS
CDVC 13.4 ± 6.46 7.6 ± 2.77 7.6 ± 3.63
In comparison to CDVC, the shoot length and the plant biomass were significantly higher in the ladies finger plant grown in LVC amended soil; however there was no statistically significant difference vis a vis shoot diameter and the number of branches. As elucidated by Hussain and Abbasi [2], vermicompost amendment in soil enhances the available nutrient content of the soil, besides making the soil porosity, density, and water holding capacity more plant-friendly. In addition, soils amended with vermicomposts were seen to be rich in fulvic and humic acids, and plant hormones [6], which apparently boost the growth of plants compared to the controls. The results of the present investigation show that in some aspects LVC has outperformed CDVC while in some other aspects no significant difference was seen between the two. This makes it evident that lantana loses its toxic and allelopathic constituents during its vermicomposting and the resultant vermicompost, has positive influence on the growth of ladies finger. Equally significant is the finding that the positive influence matches—at times even surpasses—that of CDVC.

4. Yield and Biochemical Aspects

Vermicompost treatments are seen to have significantly enhanced the yield of the ladies finger pods as reflected in the average numbers and weights of pods per plant, and the average length and diameter of the pods (Table 1). In comparison to the CDVC, LVC had significantly higher number of pods per plant. It also led to pods of higher average weight. However, no significant difference was seen in case of length and diameter of the pods. Vermicompost treatments had also significantly increased the concentrations of chlorophyll and carotenoids in the ladies finger leaves, and the total solids and ash content of its fruits in comparison to the control plots (Figure 2a–d). No statistically significant difference, however, was seen between the LVC and the CDVC in terms of influence on chlorophyll, carotenoids, total solids, protein and carbohydrates content (Figure 2e–f). These gains, like the plant growth parameters, can perhaps be attributed to the increased plant available nutrients in soil fortified with vermicomposts, compared to the controls. This is consistent with similar effect reported when manure−based vermicomposts were deployed [7][8]. Overall, LVC appears to be as beneficial for the cultivation of ladies finger as CDVC.
Figure 2. Effect of LVC Agriculture 11 01263 i003 and CDVC Agriculture 11 01263 i004 on ladies fingerin terms of (a) total chlorophyll in the leaves; (b) carotenoids in the leaves; (c) total solids; (d) ash; (e) protein in pods; and (f) carbohydrates in pods. All the bars carry range of standard deviation. Bars topped with an asterisk indicate that the corresponding numbers do not differ significantly from the controls at p ≤ 0.05. N indicate the vermicompost treatments.

5. Disease Incidence

Both the vermicomposts were able to induce disease resistance in the test plants (Figure 1h, Table 1). In terms of reducing the incidence of disease, LVC has performed marginally better than CDVC; however, the difference was not statistically significant. The fractions of infected fruits was lesser in CDVC treatments of 3.75 and 5 t ha−1 than in the corresponding LVC applications. However, again, the difference was not statistically significant. In a recently published review, Hussain and Abbasi [2] have documented a number of scientific studies reporting the positive role of manure-based vermicomposts in reducing pests and disease in several botanical species. The present work shows that LVC also possesses a similar virtue.
Previous reports on pathogen-protecting attribute of manure–based vermicomposts reveal that better nutrient availability, and presence of antimicrobial compounds such as flavonoids, phenols and humic acids in the vermicomposts, are the likely factors that may have imbibed the vermicomposts with the ability to resist pathogens [9]. Evidently these beneficial attributes are also present in LVC.


  1. Hussain, N. Gainful Utilization of Toxic and Allelopathic Weeds for the Generation of Biofertilizer through Vermicomposting: An Assessment of the Fertilizer Value of the Resultant Vermicompost. Ph.D. Thesis, Pondicherry University, Puducherry, India, 2016; 175p
  2. Hussain, N.; Abbasi, T.; Abbasi, S.A. Vermicomposting eliminates the toxicity of Lantana (Lantana camara) and turns it into a plant friendly organic fertilizer. J. Hazard. Mater. 2015, 298, 46–57.
  3. Hussain, N.; Abbasi, S.A. Efficacy of the vermicomposts of different organic wastes as “clean” fertilizers: State-of-the-art. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1205.
  4. Hilhorst, H.W.; Karssen, C.M. Effect of chemical environment on seed germination. In Seeds. The Ecology of Regeneration in Plants Communities; Cab International: Oxon, UK, 2000; pp. 293–309.
  5. Ievinsh, G. Vermicompost treatment differentially affects seed germination, seedling growth and physiological status of vegetable crop species. Plant Growth Regul. 2011, 65, 169–181.
  6. Edwards, C.A.; Norman, Q.A.; Sherman, R. Vermiculture Technology, Earthworms Organic Waste and Environmental Management; CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL, USA, 2011; pp. 220–231.
  7. Roberts, P.; Edwards, C.A.; Edwards-Jones, G.; Jones, D.L. Responses of common pot grown flower species to commercial plant growth media substituted with vermicomposts. Compost Sci. Util. 2007, 15, 159–166.
  8. Doan, T.T.; Henry-des-Tureaux, T.; Rumpel, C.; Janeau, J.L.; Jouquet, P. Impact of compost, vermicompost and biochar on soil fertility, maize yield and soil erosion in Northern Vietnam: A three-year mesocosm experiment. Sci. Total Environ. 2015, 514, 147–154.
  9. Edwards, C.A.; Arancon, N.Q.; Bennett, M.V.; Askar, A.; Keeney, G.; Little, B. Suppression of green peach aphid (Myzuspersicae) (Sulz.), citrus mealybug (Planococcuscitri), and two spotted spider mite (Tetranychusurticae) (Koch.) attacks on tomatoes and cucumbers by aqueous extracts from vermicomposts. Crop Prot. 2010, 29, 80–93.
Contributor MDPI registered users' name will be linked to their SciProfiles pages. To register with us, please refer to :
View Times: 282
Entry Collection: Environmental Sciences
Revisions: 3 times (View History)
Update Date: 27 Jan 2022