Invasive species make up 27 per cent of total vascular plants in Canada. This contributes to an estimated cost of $2.2 billion a year for the agriculture industry through reduced crop yield, increased pest management expenses and overall market loss1. Herbicides are a critical tool for land managers battling invasive and weedy plants. Novel herbicides with new modes of action (MOA) are in great demand since invasive and weedy plants are gaining a resistance to commercial herbicides and a new MOA has not been introduced in over 30 years2. Plants remain a largely untapped resource for new agrichemicals, particularly herbicides with novel MOAs, and research and development in this area could become a priority for plant scientists globally3.
Thanks to the support of Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Seed Grant, an interdisciplinary
team of researchers at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland) investigated the
feasibility of a new approach to the control and eradication of invasive plants. They tested natural methods of removing invasive species and assessed the feasibility of using the unique natural chemistry of invasive plant biomass. The use of the invasive plant Vincetoxicum rossicum (Kleopov) Barbarich, commonly referred to as dog-strangling vine (DSV), allowed the team to uncover new information about the phytotoxic (toxic effect by a compound on plant growth) properties of invasive plants.
Vineland’s team evaluated the different chemical compounds produced by DSV
and assessed the influence those chemical compounds have on other plants to better understand how to control invasive plants and weeds.