Monday, July 01, 2002

Nasty Knapweed

Researchers have some insight into what makes Spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa), one of the more common invasive plants in the U.S., such a successful competitor. According to this article from Science Daily, a professor of horticulture at Colorado State University isolated a chemical, known as catechin, from the species. Catechin, released by stressed and/or damaged knapweed, acts as a herbicide, killing nearby plants. Future plans include harvesting the chemical for use as a natural herbicide, as well as insertion of the associated genes into other species to protect them from weeds.

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