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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Registration of Weed-Suppressive Bacteria for Cheatgrass Control

Location: Northwest Sustainable Agroecosystems Research

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The overall objective is to develop the necessary documentation, analyses and required registration information so that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) can register the novel bio-pesticide cheatgrass-suppressive bacteria Pseudomonas fluorescens strain ACK55 (P.f.ACK55) for large-scale field use. The individual objectives consist of the following: 1. Develop and file initial petition to EPA for bio-pesticide registration; 2. Evaluate the bacteria using standard EPA requested microbial pesticide tests; toxicology analyses; and non-target impact testing; 3. Develop and file the application for EPA Registration.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
We will produce the initial petition to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); obtain the EPA required tests and toxicology analyses of the active ingredient of the bio-pesticide - the bacterium; and non-target testing. We will also prepare samples and documents needed to submit the necessary application to EPA for bio-pesticide registration.


3.Progress Report:

Cheatgrass and medusahead cause ecological disaster because they alter rangeland vegetation diversity; affect soil quality; and change wildlife diversity. These invasive grasses, in particular, quickly establish in disturbed sites leading to monocultures of cheatgrass or medusahead. Within the soil microbial community, plant-microbe interactions abound and can be used in restoration efforts. The goal of this project is to develop the necessary documentation, analyses and required registration information so that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can register the novel bio-pesticide cheatgrass-suppressive bacteria Pseudomonas fluorescens strain ACK55 (P.f.ACK55) for large-scale field use. This research relates to objective 4 of the inhouse project, “Develop agricultural PM10/PM2.5 and GHG mitigation strategies and management decision aids for Pacific Northwest cropping systems”. We filed the initial petition to Environmental Protection Agency; obtained from them the required tests and toxicology analyses of the active ingredient of the bio-pesticide - the bacterium; and will do non-target testing. We have been preparing the samples and documents needed to submit the necessary application. This project will make significant contributions to our understanding of ecologically sound weed management strategies. This research will illustrate the use of these bacteria in weed management systems and hasten product development and lead the way for other weed-suppressive bacteria.


Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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