Navigation Links
Dow AgriSciences, MU researcher develop a way to control 'superweed'
Date:1/21/2011

COLUMBIA, Mo. They pop up in farm fields across 22 states, and they've been called the single largest threat to production agriculture that farmers have ever seen. They are "superweeds" undesirable plants that can tolerate multiple herbicides, including the popular gylphosate, also known as RoundUp and they cost time and money because the only real solution is for farmers to plow them out of the field before they suffocate corn, soybeans or cotton. Now, thanks to the work of researchers at Dow AgroSciences, LLC, who have been collaborating with a University of Missouri researcher, a new weapon may be on the horizon to eliminate superweeds.

Zhanyuan Zhang, a research associate professor of plant sciences and director of the MU Plant Transformation Core facility, partnered with research scientists at Dow AgroSciences, LLC, to engineer soybean plants that can tolerate an alternative herbicide that may help slow the spread of superweeds, such as tall waterhemp.

According to an article in the May 3 edition of the New York Times, farmers considered RoundUp a "miracle chemical" when it was introduced because it killed a wide variety of weeds, is safe to work with, and broke down quickly, reducing environmental impact. However, weeds quickly evolved to survive gylphosate, and that threatened to reverse an agricultural advance known as minimum-till farming. As the superweeds survive in the fields, farmers must spend more time to get rid of them, even going so far as pulling the weeds by hand. The Times noted that there were 10 resistant species in at least 22 states infesting millions of acres of farmland.

Using a massive genetic database and a bioinformatic approach, Dow AgroSciences researchers identified two bacterial enzymes that, when transformed into plants, conferred resistance to an herbicide called "2,4-D," commonly used in controlling dandelions. The enzymes were successfully put into corn and soybean plants, and those new plants showed excellent resistance to 2,4-D, including no negative effects on yield or other agronomic traits. Other advantages of 2,4-D include low cost, short environmental persistence, and low toxicity to humans and wildlife.

"Unlike glyphosate, which targets amino acid synthesis, 2,4-D is a hormone regulator. Because it has a different mode of action, 2,4-D is an ideal herbicide to deal with glyphosate-resistant weeds," said Zhang, who managed the soybean transformation portion of the study and contributed to some data analysis.

Zhang believes that 2,4-D could eventually be combined with other herbicides in the near future. In the meantime, Zhang says an integrated weed management plan can help farmers be productive and ultimately save money for the consumer.

"The less chemicals farmers use in the field, the less money they spend on production," said Zhang. "That leads to less cost for the consumer, as well as improved food safety and environmental safety."


'/>"/>

Contact: Steven Adams
AdamsST@missouri.edu
573-882-8353
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Go figure: Math model may help researchers with stem cell, cancer therapies
2. Researchers discover giant crayfish species right under their noses
3. Researchers unlock how progesterone increases breast cancer risk
4. In scientific first, researchers visualize naturally occurring mRNA
5. Researchers report on the early development of anti-HIV neutralizing antibodies
6. Researchers learn why PSA levels reflect prostate cancer progression
7. Adrenaline receptor frozen in action by VIB researchers
8. Researchers show how 1 gene becomes 2 (with different functions)
9. Technique allows researchers to identify key maize genes for increased yield
10. University of Houston researchers helping Pentagon build mind-controlled prosthetics
11. Researchers show environmental changes may affect vital cooperate bird behaviors
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/5/2016)... , Dec. 5, 2016  The Office ... today published "Can CT Scans Enhance or Replace ... the potential of supporting or replacing forensic autopsies ... CT scan. In response to recommendations ... is exploring using CT scans as a potential ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... , Dec. 1, 2016   SoftServe , ... BioLock , an electrocardiogram (ECG) biosensor analysis ... a key IoT asset. The smart system ensures ... vehicle,s steering wheel and mobile devices to easily ... As vehicle technology advances, so too ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... , Nov. 30, 2016  higi SH ... new partnership initiative targeting national brands, industry thought-leaders ... reward their respective audiences for taking steps to ... its inception in 2012, higi has built the ... impacting over 38 million people who have conducted ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... Dec. 8, 2016  Renova™ Therapeutics, a biotechnology ... failure and type 2 diabetes, announced that it ... adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector developed in the laboratory ... at Stanford University. The company plans to use ... therapy product pipeline. "Early research ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Oxford Gene Technology (OGT), ... panel range with the launch of the SureSeq myPanel™ NGS ... variants in familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). The panel delivers single nucleotide ... single small panel and allows customisation by ,mix and match, ... for LDLR , P C SK9 ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... This CAST literature review and report looks at ... focus on the economic effects in countries that are major global commodity exporters and ... the resultant risk of low level presence (LLP) puts large volumes of trade worth ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 8, 2016 Eutilex Co. Ltd. today announced ... $18.9M) Series A financing. This financing round included participation ... and SNU Bio Angel. This new funding brings the ... (US $27.7M) since its founding in 2015. ... development and commercialization of its immuno-oncology programs, expand its ...
Breaking Biology Technology: