Biological control of parasitic plants is a promising field. Fusarium oxysporum has been identified for biocontrol. It shows clear host-specificity which is an essential component to biocontrol development: harm the weed and only the weed.
You can look at our pilot's website to learn more!
Specific strains of F. oxysporum are selected for enhanced virulence, which strengthens its killing power towards the target weed. Based on amino acid sensitivity studies, we select variants of the wild type strain that overproduce specific amino acids (for Striga, we selected for variants that overproduce leucine, methionine, and tyrosine as shown by GC-Mass Spectroscopy analysis of CATSUP broth grown cultures of F. oxysporum). The product is host specific to only harm the target weed, and shows no signs of toxins based on tox/ecotox tests at Virginia Tech and the University of Nairobi (each product we develop with go through regulatory testing).
This website is brand new...check back as we take time to talk about our role within global food systems!
Again, we are still crafting this website. We look forward to dropping interesting information on the impact of weeds on food production. This includes tackling herbicide-resistant weeds, shifting the weed management from chemical to biological, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and allowing more farmers the ability to transition from conventional to organic production.