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China to develop plant-based herbicide

Chinese researchers at the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), have identified an allelopathic phytotoxin that has potential herbicidal applications, the CAS reports. The phytotoxin, xanthinosin, is extracted from flowers of the Italian cockleburr ( Xanthium italicum). In laboratory tests, the phytotoxin “significantly affected” seedling growth of all test species at 160 µM concentration. The CAS believes that xanthinosin has “potential for further development as a plant-based herbicide”, and the researchers have applied for a herbicide patent. The research findings were published in the international chemistry journal, Molecules. China is trying to develop more “environmentally friendly” pesticides in a bid to “transform and upgrade” its agrochemical industry during its current five-year plan (2011-2015 - Agrow No 631, p 18).


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