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