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Development of a mycoherbicide for bracken control (Strathclyde University) (Extension of OC8904) - OC9301

This study will build on existing work on the development of a mycoherbicide for bracken control. The work has so far been directed towards the selection of virulent strains of the fungus Ascochyta pteridis and the development of a sprayable emulsion in which to apply fungal spores. The general aims of this study will be to further improve the structure of emulsions in order to increase their water-retaining efficiency following field application, and to evaluate certain other adjuvants which should enhance the performance of the mycoherbicide in the field under a range of climatic conditions. Refinement of the emulsion will involve consideration of inter-related factors such as droplet size, water-retaining capacity and viscosity. Methods of enhancing O2 availability to the spores in the emulsion formulation will be investigated; this may be achieved by saturation of the oil with O2, use of artificial O2-carrying polymers such as perfluorocarbons, or the removal of CO2 using hydroxides. Studies on the influence of other adjuvants, including phenylalanine ammonia-lyase inhibitors and inhibitors of stomal closure, will also be conducted. Factors such as spray nozzle type, application rate and spore concentration will be examined with the aim of optimizing application techniques for the mycoherbicide; these factors will be tested prior to field trials using a track sprayer and whole bracken plants. The geographical range of field trials will be broadened to include as wide a range as possible of bracken-invaded UK habitats which have varied ecostructures and climates.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1993

To: 1994

Cost: £24,485
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Strathclyde, Bioscience & Biotechnology
Fields of Study
Environmental Stewardship