Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Overseas Lab Seeks U.S. Weed Control "Recruits"

25.11.2010
The search is on for insects, mites, microbes or nematodes that could be used in a biologically based approach to controlling silverleaf nightshade, an invasive weed from the Americas that has spread to southern Europe, Africa, India, Australia and elsewhere.

According to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologist Walker Jones, the perennial weed, Solanum elaeagnifolium, is being targeted for its ability to outcompete native plants, reduce crop yields and diminish pasture productivity. Its orange, toxin-producing berries can also poison livestock.

Severe infestations of silverleaf nightshade can render chemical or mechanical controls, like mowing, too costly, impractical or environmentally harmful to use, added Jones. He initiated the search for the weed's natural enemies as director of the European Biological Control Laboratory (EBCL), operated in Montpellier, France, by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS). ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency, and this research supports the USDA priority of promoting international food security.

Before returning to the United States this past April to lead the ARS Biological Control of Pests Research Unit in Stoneville, Miss., Jones, together with ARS National Program Leader Daniel Strickman, established a cooperative project with the Benaki Phytopathological Institute in Athens, Greece, to explore starting continental Europe's first-ever classical weed-biocontrol program. Candidate biocontrol agents are typically insects that severely damage or kill targeted weeds, sparing useful plants and striking a balance between the weed and its environment, explained Jones.

Normally, the EBCL serves as a "way station" where promising biocontrol agents collected from Europe, Asia or Africa are screened for potential release into the United States to manage invasive species there. But in this instance, the lab will serve as a receiving point for candidate organisms from North America that could open the door to biologically controlling infestations of the weed in Greece.

The project's early stages include genetically analyzing silverleaf nightshade populations collected from around the world and physically mapping Greece's infestations of the weed and densities using satellite photographs.

Read more about the research in the November-December 2010 issue of Agricultural Research magazine.

Jan Suszkiw | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ars.usda.gov
http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2010/101124.htm

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht New study shows producers where and how to grow cellulosic biofuel crops
17.01.2018 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

nachricht Robotic weeders: to a farm near you?
10.01.2018 | American Society of Agronomy

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>