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Abstract

New Technologies for Weed Eradication—Invasive Plants Have No Place to Hide When DNA Is Involved

1
Biosecurity Queensland, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dutton Park, Brisbane 4001, Australia
2
Queensland Herbarium, Department of Environment and Science, Toowong, Brisbane 4066, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Presented at the third International Tropical Agriculture Conference (TROPAG 2019), Brisbane, Australia, 11–13 November 2019.
Proceedings 2019, 36(1), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019036073
Published: 20 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Proceedings of The Third International Tropical Agriculture Conference (TROPAG 2019))
Building on the advances in molecular technology, two genetic based tools are being developed by Biosecurity Queensland to improve conventional invasive plant detection, monitoring and control. Sporobolus is a genus of almost 200 grass species from tropical and subtropical parts of the world. In Australia, 19 Sporobolus species are endemic and 8 species are introduced. Of these, 10 (5 natives and 5 introduced) are closely allied species and overlapping morphological traits makes accurate identification very difficult. Five of the introduced weedy Sporobolus grasses including Giant Rat’s Tail Grass (GRT), threaten to cost the grazing industry of eastern Australia $60 million per annum, having the potential to infest 60% of Queensland and 30% of Australia. The success of four GRT biological control programs in Australia, hinge on the accurate identification of the host plant. The GRT project relies on a molecular approach to delimit and accurately identify these Sporobolus species, allowing for a more accurate and targeted control strategy to be used in the paddock. The second molecular project focuses on the dioecious Mexican bean tree (Cecropia spp.), a restricted pioneer tree that has invaded rainforests in tropical and subtropical Queensland. Molecular markers are being used to genotype an eradicated population to identify if there are any undetected parent trees within surveyed areas that may be residing in inaccessible rainforest patches, thereby preventing extirpation to occur. Dust monitoring devices to capture pollen are being trialed as an eDNA surveillance method for detecting unknown Mexican bean tree populations in remote rainforest locations.
Keywords: invasive plants; eDNA; Sporobolus; species genetic differentiation; phylogeny; Cecropia; proof of freedom invasive plants; eDNA; Sporobolus; species genetic differentiation; phylogeny; Cecropia; proof of freedom
MDPI and ACS Style

Simmons, L.; Vitelli, J.; Csurhes, S. New Technologies for Weed Eradication—Invasive Plants Have No Place to Hide When DNA Is Involved. Proceedings 2019, 36, 73. https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019036073

AMA Style

Simmons L, Vitelli J, Csurhes S. New Technologies for Weed Eradication—Invasive Plants Have No Place to Hide When DNA Is Involved. Proceedings. 2019; 36(1):73. https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019036073

Chicago/Turabian Style

Simmons, Laura, Joe Vitelli, and Steve Csurhes. 2019. "New Technologies for Weed Eradication—Invasive Plants Have No Place to Hide When DNA Is Involved" Proceedings 36, no. 1: 73. https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019036073

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