|| Dr. C. Doug Boyette|
Biological Control of Pests Research Unit
National Biological Control Laboratory
59 Lee Road
PO Box 67
Stoneville, MS 38776
Dr. Doug Boyette is Lead Scientist of the Biocontrol of Weeds Project in the Southern Weed Science Research Unit. His research focuses on discovery, evaluation, and implementation of plant pathogens as bioherbicides for controlling agronomically-important weeds and weeds which were formerly controlled by methyl bromide.
Several plant pathogenic fungi are being evaluated as bioherbicides for a number of weed species. For example, the fungus Colletotrichum truncatum shows excellent potential as a bioherbicide for coffee senna and sicklepod; a Fusarium spp. which is virulent against tropical soda apple; and a bacterial pathogen which is effective in controlling cocklebur.
Efforts are also directed towards developing improved formulation and delivery systems which improve the bioherbicidal potential of plant pathogens. For example, water-in-oil (invert) and oil-in-water emulsions have been developed which greatly reduce or eliminate the free-moisture (dew) requirements necessary for weed infection and mortality by plant pathogens. Formulations also have been developed which expand the host-ranges of some highly specific fungi to include other problematic weed species.