Thursday, July 18, 2019 at 1:30pm – 2:30pm (Eastern time)
USDA FOREST SERVICE HEADQUARTERS - Yates Building, 201 14TH Street, SW (Washington DC) in the Civilian Conservation Corps room
Endogenous chemical isolates research and development for invasive species control and management
Dr. Shiyou Li, Stephen F. Austin University and DR. Rima Lucardi, USFS Southern Research Station
Endogenous biocides are a novel innovation in the treatment and management of non-native invasive plant species. This research between the Forest Service (Research & Development, Southern Research Station), Stephen F. Austin State University (Nacogdoches, TX), and Mississippi State University (Starkville, MS) seeks to utilize isolated chemicals produced and already present natively within the target plant species. When applied to infestations in specific concentrations or following chemical refining processes, these biocides can be auto-toxic and lethal to the undesirable species. This approach has already been demonstrated with local-scale, aquatic applications in Giant Salvinia (Salvinia molesta), with no non-target impacts observed. The collaborators on this research seek to identify and develop auto-toxic biocidal compounds for two highly invasive, non-native species in the southern United States: 1) Chinese tallow tree (Triadica sebifera) and 2) cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica & hybrids). Preliminary greenhouse trials of promising chemical isolates (endogenous biocides) applied to Chinese tallow tree seedlings have shown lethality within days. We seek to continue research and development of chemical compounds for the treatment of these and other highly invasive non-native species. We first plan to obtain and compare invasive and native lineages of both plant species in terms of genetic and chemical profiles. Second, we will identify and test isolated compounds in replicated greenhouse trials. Third, we will seek approval for set-up and field-testing of lethal compounds at SRS experimental forests, across states and ecophysiographic regions. Lastly, and perhaps the most challenging and ambitious step, is developing a method for chemical synthesis and scaling-up the process for the treatment and extirpation of large infestations of these invasive plant species, without non- target impacts, in forested ecosystems on both public and private lands.