Mycoherbicide formulation and the potential for bracken control


  • Based on a paper presented at the meeting ‘Biological Control: Use of Living Organisms in the Management of Invertebrate Pests, Pathogens and Weeds’, organised by the SCI Pesticides Group and held at the SCI, 14/15 Belgrave Square. London SWIX 8PS, UK on 19-20 October 1992.


The imperfect fungus Ascochtya pteridis, causal agent of curl-tip disease, is considered as the potential active ingredient of a mycoherbicide for the control of bracken (Pteridium aquilinum (L.) Kühn) Results of experimental attempts to improve pathogenicity by the addition to the spore inoculum of one or more adjuvants are reviewed. The importance of protecting spores and germ tubes from desiccation in the pre-penetration phase is emphasised and results of experiments demonstrating the potential for water retention by invert (water-in-oil) emulsions discussed. Provisional results of field trials using an invert emulsion of water in soybean oil are summarised. Infection was achieved, but it is though that the low level of mycoherbicidal activity was due to application when the host was beyond its most susceptible stage.