Navigation Links
New hope for horse lovers as effective control for killer ragwort is proposed
Date:10/10/2007

Scientists propose developing an environmentally-friendly fungal spray that would specifically target Ragwort, infecting and killing the weed at a critical growth stage. This spray will contain a host-specific, plant pathogenic fungus as the active ingredient and will have no side-effects on non-target organisms and pose no threat to the environment. It would therefore provide a quick, safe and effective means for controlling Ragwort.

Ragwort is a common British weed which thrives on wasteland, road verges and railway land. The weed spreads easily to pasture land and is poisonous to horses, ponies, donkeys and other livestock, causing death through liver disease. It is estimated that over 6,500 horses are killed each year from Ragwort poisoning.

While current methods for controlling Ragwort, such as pulling, mowing and cutting, can be effective in the short term, they may actually promote future growth. Chemical herbicides can also be effective, but their lack of specificity means they tend to kill off surrounding vegetation and would be unsuitable on sites designated for nature conservation or as special scientific interest. Herbicides can also create spray drift hazards and leave residues in food commodities.

In order to start phase one of what could develop into a three phase project, CABI, a not-for-profit organisation, is looking to secure funds from a consortium of interested stakeholders. An anticipated budget of less than 20,000 would help fund the initial feasibility study, involving research into whether a suitably specific and damaging native fungus occurs on Ragwort and can be exploited to control the plant.

Phase 2 will involve finalising the fungal active ingredient, formulating it into a spray and conducing field trials. In phase 3, the spray will be registered and launched as a commercial product. CABI plans to set up this project as a market-driven venture and to re-invest any income generated by the commercialised spray back into its other projects and consultancy work.

Ragwort is subject to the Weeds Act 1959. Under this Act, occupiers are required to prevent the spread of Ragwort (and other injurious weeds) where they represent a risk to animal welfare and agricultural activities. The legislation was further strengthened in 2003 with the introduction of the Ragwort Control Act followed by a Code of Practice in 2004. As a result, large land owners such as Network Rail and the Highways Agency have a vested interest in finding the most effective control method available.

World-renowned for its extensive work and successes in using living organisms to control pest species, CABI is well placed to develop a natural control alternative for Ragwort. One example of CABIs work is the LUBILOSA project, which developed Green Muscle, a highly successful fungal product used to control locusts and grasshoppers in Africa. Mycoherbicide options for other UK weed species such as Buddleia, Rhododendron and Japanese knotweed are also being investigated.


'/>"/>

Contact: Lynsey Sterrey
l.sterrey@cabi.org
01-865-829-361
CABI
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Live vaccines more effective against horse herpes virus
2. Ancient DNA helps clarify the origins of two extinct New World horse species
3. Horse antibodies against the bird flu virus H5N1 are effective as treatment in mice
4. Horseshoe crab decline threatens shorebird species
5. Killing brain tumors from within: A Trojan horse approach
6. New evidence of early horse domestication
7. Trojan Horse agent halts bone metastasis in mice
8. Trojan horse strategy defeats drug-resistant bacteria
9. Horse genome assembled
10. Combination therapy boosts effectiveness of telomere-directed cancer cell death
11. New imaging method gives early indication if brain cancer therapy is effective, U-M study shows
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/9/2017)... , March 9, 2017 4Dx has ... World Lung Imaging Workshop at the University of Pennsylvania. ... invited to deliver the latest data to world leaders ... event brings together leaders at the forefront of the ... lung imaging. "The quality of the ...
(Date:3/6/2017)... Calif. , March 6, 2017 ... and sales technology, today announced Predictive Sales Coach ... for infusing actionable sales intelligence into Salesforce. This ... automatically enable their sales organizations with deep knowledge ... that allow for intelligent engagement. Predictive Sales Coach ...
(Date:3/2/2017)... Australian stem cell and regenerative medicine company, ... an agreement with the Monash Lung Biology Network, a ... and Department of Pharmacology at Monash University, ... to support the use of Cymerus™ mesenchymal stem cells ... Asthma is a chronic, long term lung condition recognised ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... March 21, 2017 , ... Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), an optical imaging tool ... way to track the brain’s response to acute pain in adults and infants. , ... ,” published today in the journal Neurophotonics , by SPIE, the international ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 22, 2017  RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ: RXII), ... address significant unmet medical needs, today announced ... will present at the 5th Annual Cancer BioPartnering ... platform to present to and meet with thought ... biotech companies as well as institutional investors. This ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... March 20, 2017 , ... ... therapies for gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, today announced that it has entered into an ... for therapies in inflammatory bowel disease including Necrotizing Enterocolitis (rare orphan disease) as ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... Foreside, Maine (PRWEB) , ... March 20, 2017 ... ... announce its VALIDATE® HEPARIN calibration verification / linearity test kit has received US ... systems. The VALIDATE® HEPARIN kit evaluates Heparin Anti-Xa activity in a human ...
Breaking Biology Technology: