Digital phenotyping in developing novel weed control

Weed control is becoming increasingly challenging because many herbicides become banned by authorities or weeds gain resistance against the active ingredients. Alternative methods frequently are labour- or energy- intensive. Exploring allelopathic substances might deliver novel weed control compounds. The duckweed growth inhibition test serves as an indicator whether a given substance is phytotoxic and thus is a candidate for use as herbicide. Diterpenes isolated from an invasive species, Eragrostis plana, were analysed, and the LemnaTec Scanalyzer together with the corresponding analytical software delivered data on growth reduction, chlorosis and necrosis in response to increasing concentrations of different candidate substances. The testing results contribute to the overall benchmarking of the candidates for herbicide use and thereby facilitate developing novel bio-based weed control systems.

Favaretto A, Cantrell CL, Fronczek FR, Duke SO, Wedge DE, Ali A, Scheffer-Basso SM (2019) New Phytotoxic Cassane-like Diterpenoids from Eragrostis plana. J Agric Food Chem