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USDA seeks renewed interest in kudzu bioherbicide

USDA researchers are hoping to rekindle industry interest in collaborating in the development of a bioherbicide based on the fungus, Myrothecium verrucaria, to control the invasive weed, kudzu ( Pueraria montana var lobata). The fungus was shown to be effective against kudzu in the late 1990s ( Agrow No 346, p 23). However, initial industry interest waned because the fungus produces harmful toxins, the USDA says. Liquid fermentation techniques have since been used to reduce toxin levels and enable more rapid production. The bioherbicide also has potential for use in crops such as tomatoes, soybeans and rice.

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