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New Zealand Plant Protection 64 (2011): 81-85

Comparative dose-responses of five pasture weeds to a Sclerotinia sclerotiorum mycoherbicide

G.W. Bourd˘t, G.A. Hurrell and D.J. Saville


A gel preparation of mycelia of the plant pathogen Sclerotinia sclerotiorum was applied to the pasture weeds Carduus nutans L., Carduus tenuiflorus L., Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop., Jacobaea vulgaris L. and Ranunculus acris L. Doses ranging from 0 to 1,000 Ál gel/plant were applied as 10 or 50 Ál droplets, one per leaf axil. Statistically significant responses to dose were evident in C. arvense, J. vulgaris and R. acris, leading to 90, 74 and 100% reductions in living tissue respectively at 200 Ál/plant compared to the control 29 days after treatment. For C. nutans and C. tenuiflorus, where even low doses gave good control, the reductions (averaged over all doses) were 98 and 88% respectively indicating that these two annual thistles were exceptionally susceptible to this S. sclerotiorum formulation. For C. nutans, 1 litre of the gel would, if precision applied, be sufficient to control at least 20,000 plants, suggesting broad-acre use may be commercially viable.

Keywords: Carduus nutans L., Carduus tenuiflorus L., Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop., Ranunculus acris L., Jacobaea vulgaris L.

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