Low level herbicide use can damage potato reproduction

Jan 07, 2009

Currently, plant testing in the United States to determine potential ecological risks from chemical pesticides to nontarget plants requires two tests, both of which use immature plants. Protection of the plant development and reproduction are not considered, unlike tests required for the protection of animals. Past research conducted by the USEPA and others have shown that plant development/reproduction is not adequately protected with the current test protocols.

The stage of plant development when exposed to a pesticide has an important impact on what plant organs are injured. Vegetation may or may not display symptoms of injury when reproductive organs are severely damaged. Yield and quality reduction can have significant economic and ecological effects. Therefore, field trials were conducted to determine if potato vegetative growth and tuber yield and quality were affected by herbicides at below recommended field rates.

Potato plants were exposed to one of seven different herbicides at various concentrations below normal field application rates. Results from this study were published in the November-December issue of the Journal of Environmental Quality. They demonstrated that potato tuber yield and quality can be affected by herbicide application rates below those causing a reduction in vegetative growth or injury. Potato tuber formation may be a sensitive indicator of developmental/reproductive responses of plants to chemical pesticides.

Research is continuing at the Western Ecology Division of the USEPA, Corvallis, OR in support of pesticide registration requirements for the protection of nontarget plants from pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

View study abstract at jeq.scijournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/37/6/2070 .

Source: American Society of Agronomy

Explore further: Aging white lion euthanized at Ohio zoo

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

How seeds recognise the seasons

Dec 16, 2014

Scientists at the University of York have played a key role in new research into the way 'mother' plants use their memory of the seasons to teach their seeds the most advantageous time to germinate.

That's a bioplastic wrap

Dec 15, 2014

Bioplastics take on traditional petrochemical plastics in food packaging, with some challenges.

Recommended for you

A vegetarian carnivorous plant

Dec 19, 2014

Carnivorous plants catch and digest tiny animals in order and derive benefits for their nutrition. Interestingly the trend towards vegetarianism seems to overcome carnivorous plants as well. The aquatic carnivorous bladderwort, ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.