Navigation Links
Overseas lab seeks US weed control 'recruits'

This release is available in Spanish.

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.


Contact: Jan Suszkiw
United States Department of Agriculture -- Research, Education and Economics

Related biology news :

1. GenWay Biotech extends the You Test You program overseas
2. WWF seeks innovative solutions to bycatch through worldwide competition
3. Researcher seeks to turn stem cells into blood vessels
4. International research team seeks to unravel flatworm regeneration
5. Critical Zone Observatory seeks to answer climate change questions
6. Europe seeks alternatives to natural latex from Asia
7. The white stuff: Marine lab team seeks to understand coral bleaching
8. LOreal Fellowship winner seeks to understand breast cancer
9. Hidden infections crucial to understanding, controlling disease outbreaks
10. bioMETRX, Inc. Signs Deal To Acquire Controlling Interest in Biometric Solutions, LLC
11. Can genetic information be controlled by light?
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016 On Monday, ... call to industry to share solutions for the Biometric ... U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), explains that CBP ... are departing the United States , ... and to defeat imposters. Logo - ...
(Date:6/20/2016)... Securus Technologies, a leading provider of ... safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring announced that after ... secured the final acceptance by all three (3) ... Systems (MAS) installed. Furthermore, Securus will have contracts ... by October, 2016. MAS distinguishes between legitimate wireless ...
(Date:6/15/2016)... ALBANY, New York , June 15, 2016 ... published a new market report titled "Gesture Recognition Market ... Trends and Forecast, 2016 - 2024". According to the ... at USD 11.60 billion in 2015 and is ... and reach USD 48.56 billion by 2024.  ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Houston ... with the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as ... the agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship ... and connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and ... with the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016   EpiBiome , a precision microbiome engineering ... debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The financing ... advance its drug development efforts, as well as purchase ... "SVB has been an incredible strategic partner to us ... bank would provide," said Dr. Aeron Tynes Hammack ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Apellis ... Phase 1 clinical trials of its complement C3 ... single and multiple ascending dose studies designed to ... (PD) of subcutaneous injection in healthy adult volunteers. ... (SC) either as a single dose (ranging from ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ClinCapture, the only free validated ... will showcase its product’s latest features from June 26 to June 30, 2016 ... on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during the conference. DIA (Drug ...
Breaking Biology Technology: