Are you a U.S. resident struggling with a burgeoning Japanese knotweed invasion, or are you hip to where all the cool knotweed plants hang out in your neighborhood? If so, a grad student from my former lab, Jonna Grimsby, wants you to send her some leaves! She is working on a genetic analysis of Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica, Polygonum cuspidatum, Reynoutria japonica, etc.) and is seeking samples from across the US. It won't cost you anything but a few minutes of time. Read her request below for more information:
Don’t know how to get rid of your Japanese knotweed? Give it to me!
Actually, all I want is a leaf or two (sorry!). As a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, I am currently studying the genetic diversity of Fallopia japonica (Japanese knotweed). Very little is known about the genetic diversity of this species in the United States. We have previously studied three populations in the Boston area and, using DNA markers, have found a relatively high level of genetic diversity.
We are interested in retrieving samples from other regions in the United States to test the level of genetic diversity. If you are an environmentalist, conservationist, land manager, scientist, student, teacher, homeowner, or simply a person interested in invasive species, we would greatly appreciate your help.
If you are interested in donating a leaf sample to contribute to our genetic study, email me at jonnagrimsby AT gmail DOT com. Please give me your name and address so that I can send you a sampling kit with directions.
Once we receive your address, WE WILL SEND YOU AN ENVELOPE (POSTAGE PRE-PAID) to return the samples. PLEASE DO NOT SEND THE LEAF SAMPLE IN YOUR OWN ENVELOPE, WE WILL PROVIDE THIS FOR YOU! PLEASE DO NOT SEND RHIZOMES OR SEEDS.
There will be straightforward directions in the package provided to you.
We greatly appreciate your help! Remember, the more we can learn about populations of Japanese knotweed, the greater chance we have of controlling this destructive invasive plant!