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Video: How to Control Japanese Knotweed (with science!)

Published on by Dr Paul Beckett

The embedded video, below, provides a useful introduction to the problems that Japanese knotweed can cause on landowners’ property. However, its main purpose is to introduce the BBSRC-funded research that Phlorum is undertaking in partnership with Sussex University. This aims to identify a novel chemical control mechanism to inhibit respiration in the mitochondria of knotweed’s cells. The mitochondria are the microscopic ‘batteries’ that power Japanese knotweed’s incredibly rapid growth.
Currently approved herbicides have a general effect on photosynthesis or cell expansion of knotweed and other dicotyledonous plants. It is hoped that the team’s research will enable a product to be tailored to control Japanese knotweed alone, leaving other plants unaffected.
The work is allied with Professor Anthony Moore’s ongoing development of a similar respiratory chain inhibitor that has proven to be effective against the ash dieback fungus, Chalara fraxinea.

About the author: Dr Paul Beckett

Dr Paul Beckett - picture

Dr Paul Beckett is one of the UK’s leading experts in Japanese knotweed and is a member of the Expert Witness Institute. He regularly provides Japanese knotweed expert witness services. He helped produce the RICS knotweed guidance for surveyors and was integral in the formation of the Property Care Association (PCA) Invasive Weed Control Group (IWCG).

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