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:2/8/2017)... 2017 Report Highlights The global ... $8.3 billion in 2016 at a compound annual growth ... Report Includes - An overview of the global market ... data from 2015 and 2016, and projections of compound ... the market on the basis of product type, source, ...
(Date:2/7/2017)... Ind. , Feb. 7, 2017 Zimmer ... leader in musculoskeletal healthcare, will present at the LEERINK ... New York Palace Hotel on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 ... live webcast of the presentation can be accessed at ... replay following the conference via Zimmer Biomet,s Investor Relations ...
(Date:2/6/2017)... Feb. 6, 2017 According to Acuity ... driving border authorities to continue to embrace biometric ... are 2143 Automated Border Control (ABC) eGates and ... at more than 163 ports of entry across ... 2016 achieving a combined CAGR of 37%. APC ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... 22, 2017 , ... Pharma and biotech consulting firm ... Operating from Pennside’s Zurich headquarters, Pennside Partners, GmbH, Mr. Perkins brings 14 years ... than a decade with leading market research firm, GfK. He began his pharma ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... , Feb. 21, 2017 Synthetic Biologics, Inc. ... preserve the microbiome to protect and restore the health of patients, ... ended December 31, 2016 on Thursday, March 2, 2017, and to ... The dial-in information for the call is as follows: ... ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... ... February 21, 2017 , ... ... Biopsy System , a fully automated benchtop system for collecting intact circulating tumor ... being launched at the Molecular Medicine Tri Conference (Tri-Con) Annual Meeting 2017 (February ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 21, 2017 , ... The medical ... for their use, in multiple areas of medicine, due to their differentiating characteristics. Stem ... and they have the ability to be induced to become tissue or organic-specific cells ...
Breaking Biology Technology: