Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists make turfgrass safer for animals, deadly for insects

07.09.2011
The right combination of compounds produced by a beneficial fungus could lead to grasses that require fewer pesticides and are safer for wildlife and grazing animals, according to Purdue University scientists.

Neotyphodium is a fungus called an endophyte. It lives symbiotically, feeding off many species of grasses while providing the grass with protection from insects such as black cutworm. But Neotyphodium also can be toxic to animals based on the types of alkaloids it produces. It was once a serious concern for pasture managers.

Scientists have previously eliminated alkaloid profiles that caused toxicity in livestock, meaning pasture managers could feed their livestock without making them sick. But in making the grasses safe for animals, their susceptibility to insects came into question.

"These endophytes have changed everything for farmers who let their animals graze," said Douglas Richmond, a Purdue assistant professor of turfgrass entomology and applied ecology. "But they created another potential problem."

Richmond worked with researchers in New Zealand to assemble a series of Neotyphodium endophytes that are safe for livestock consumption and tested them to see which would also act as natural insecticides. They found a relatively few strains of the fungus that meet both criteria by producing two key alkaloid toxins - N-acetyl norloline and peramine which are a product of the fungal metabolism. The scientists determined they were effective by characterizing insect growth and survival on grasses with different alkaloid profiles.

Richmond said that grasses naturally infected with the desired endophyte strains can now be propagated for commercial production.

"Both are relatively safe for mammals and other grazing wildlife," Richmond said. "Now the seed industry can put these endophytes into turf and pasture grasses and not worry about potential non-target effects."

Those endophytes also mean that farmers, golf course turf managers and even homeowners caring for their lawns could use fewer insecticides to manage their grasses.

"I think this is going to be very important for sustainability. It's going to decrease the footprint of cultured turf and pasture grasses," said Richmond, whose results were published in the Journal of Environmental Entomology. "And if you like having wildlife around having deer come up to your lawn if you live near the woods this is a benefit because it's safe for those animals."

Richmond said he is working with a New Zealand company, AgResearch USA Ltd., that develops turfgrass varieties to include these novel endophytes for sale in the U.S. turfgrass market.

The Midwest Regional Turf Foundation, AgResearch USA Ltd. and internal Purdue University funding supported the research.

Abstract on the research in this release is available at: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/research/2011/110906RichmondFungi.html

Brian Wallheimer | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.purdue.edu

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Raiding the rape field
23.05.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht New technique reveals details of forest fire recovery
17.05.2018 | DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory

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: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Research reveals how order first appears in liquid crystals

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

Space-like gravity weakens biochemical signals in muscle formation

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

NIST puts the optical microscope under the microscope to achieve atomic accuracy

23.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>