Location: Foreign Disease-Weed Science ResearchTitle: Weed biocontrol at the USDA-ARS, Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research Unit
Submitted to: International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/3/2023
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Research on the discovery and development of microbial-based biological control agents at the Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research Unit (FDWSRU) employs conventional, molecular, and technology-driven approaches. The combination of these approaches enables FDWSRU to partner effectively with other researchers, refine existing biocontrol methods, and explore novel biological solutions to the challenge of invasive plant management. While foreign plant pathogens evaluated as classical biocontrol agents at the FDWSRU during the last four decades continue to be released, potential applications for endemic microbial communities based on plant-microbe ecology expands the range of available biocontrol practices. Potential sources of plant antagonistic microbes and mechanisms capable of reducing invasive plant fitness are being explored through advanced technologies in microbial genomes and community profiling. Parallel investigation into the application of high-impact technologies for weed control will produce new genetics-based tools that augment microbial-based biological control methods and flexible, synthetic enhancements that increase the success of existing biocontrol agents. The integration of these varied approaches will contribute to sustained improvements in biological control programs.