Biotechnological Approaches for Weed Management

Biotechnology has provided new dimensions to herbicide technology. Transgenic technology has generated herbicide-resistant crops (HRCs), which have had a profound impact on the herbicide market. This same technology has the potential to make crops better competitors with weeds through improving competitive traits or making the crop more allelopathic. Living bio control agents can sometimes be applied to weeds, much like a herbicide. In the bio herbicide approach, microbial plant pathogens are applied to target weeds. Fungi, bacteria and viruses offer great promise as bioherbicides. Formulations of Phytophthora palmivora (De Vine) as a selective mycoherbicide for the control of milk weed (Morreniaodorata) in citrus, and Colletotrichum gloeosporioides (Collego) for the control of Northern joint vetch in rice and soybean, are now widely used in developed countries. Extensive research has demonstrated that several allelochemicals possess good herbicidal activity. Thus, A crop that is genetically engineered to be resistant to yet another selective herbicide must fulfill a weed management need that is unmet, such as those niches that were filled by bromoxynil-resistant crops.

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