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US EPA to OK virus-based bioherbicide

The US EPA has proposed to register US company BioProdex' (Gainesville, Florida) virus-based bioherbicide, SolviNix LC (tobacco mild green mosaic tobamovirus strain U2), for the post-emergence control of tropical soda apples (Solanum viarum) in pastures and wooded areas that are fenced to contain grazing animals. The tropical soda apple is a thorny plant native to South America that is designated as a noxious weed under the US Plant Protection Act. SolviNix LC acts by triggering a systemic lethal hypersensitive plant response. The virus enters plant cells through minute injuries to cell walls so application must be made with a high-pressure sprayer. The product will be shipped and sold in a frozen state. The proposed approval is open to public comment until December 3rd.

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