U.S. scientists are investigating whether sorghum’s weed-inhibiting properties can be transferred to other crops like rice and used as a bioherbicide.
Photo: Shutterstock

07.09.2018

<< First < Previous Page 1 Page 2 Next > Last >>
Scientists of the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA-ARS) have transferred a biochemical pathway found in sorghum, which produces a weed-killing compound, into rice plants.

The compound sorgoleone, secreted by sorghum, helps the plant combat weeds. It works so well that some other crops struggle to grow in fields where sorghum has been raised, causing problems for growers who want to rotate different crops in those fields.

Now scientists of the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA-ARS) are investigating whether sorghum’s weed-inhibiting properties can be transferred to other crops like rice and used as a bio-herbicide. Producing sorgoleone in other crops would potentially give those plants the ability to fight weeds and reduce reliance on synthetic herbicides, according to molecular biologist Scott Baerson who is with ARS’s Natural Product Utilization Research Unit  (NPURU) in Oxford, Mississippi.

Prior to this research, nothing was known about the genes that make sorgoleone, Baerson says. After years of research, the NPURU team, which include Baerson and molecular biologist Zhiqiang Pan, recently reached a milestone that allowed them to transfer the sorgoleone compound into rice.

<< First < Previous Page 1 Page 2 Next > Last >>