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Project TitlePre-Emergent Biological Control of Grassy Weeds
Track CodeP30021
Short Description

Weeds continue to be one of the major contributing factors to yield loss in agricultural crop production. Alternative methods to the traditional chemical control of weeds need to be developed as factors such as spray drift, pesticide residues, and the development of herbicide resistance by weeds become apparent.

Naturally occurring biopesticides offer potential commercial applications in:

  • areas where resistance to chemical herbicides exist,

  • specialty crops for which grassy weed control products are limited or don’t exist,

  • organic production, and

  • urban municipalities that restrict chemical pesticide use.


The Technology

As an alternative to the chemical herbicides, AAFC scientists have identified several bacterial strains exhibiting effective suppression of weed growth that can be developed into a pre-emergent bioherbicide. Some bacterial strains show broad-spectrum activity on a number of grass weed species including green foxtail and wild oat without negatively affecting major field crops. Field trials have shown that the bacterial strains significantly reduced emergence and biomass up to 90% in green foxtail and wild oat populations. Extensive fermentation studies have been conducted and granular formulation technologies have been investigated.

AAFC’s invention can be integrated with conventional treatments, reducing the number of synthetic herbicide applications and the resulting chemical pesticide load in the environment and chemical pesticide residues in the food supply.   


AAFC has the following patents on the technology:

  • Canadian 2377054 Biocontrol of weeds using Pseudomonas compositions
  • US 6881567 Pre-emergent biological control agents

AAFC wishes to enter into a collaborative research and development agreement (CRDA) with an industrial partner to validate the grassy weed bioherbicide at a pilot scale. Key commercial issues to be resolved include process yield and product functionality at this scale using industrial unit operations. Scientific objectives include optimizing fermentation process, improvements in formulations, and detailing the suspected multiple modes of action of the bacteria against weeds.

For more information contact:

Nancy Tyler, Commercialization Officer

Tagsherbicide, biological, weed control, bioherbicide, broadleaf
Posted DateAug 11, 2016 11:20 AM