Action: Parrot’s feather: Biological control using plant pathogens
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- One study in South Africa found that parrot’s feather plants survived after being treated with a strain of the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris.
Plant pathogens have been used to control invasive aquatic plants by inducing plant mortality (Charudattan 2001). The introduction of pathogens may impact non-target species and therefore in-depth studies investigating possible undesired consequences should be undertaken prior to the application of any plant pathogen. The use of fungal-based herbicides to control parrot’s feather is discussed under ‘Biological control using fungal-based herbicides’ and the use of herbivores for the biocontrol of control parrot’s feather is discussed under ‘Biological control using herbivores’
Charudattan, R. (2001). Biological control of weeds by means of plant pathogens: significance for integrated weed management in modern agro-ecology. BioControl, 46, 229-260.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A study in South Africa (Morris et al. 1999) reported that parrot’s feather Myriophyllum aquaticum plants treated with a strain of the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris did not die. After treatment with a suspension of the bacterium all parrot’s feather sections above the water died. However, after six weeks new shoots developed from the submerged stems leading to plant recovery. No data or statistics were reported. Plants were sprayed with a suspension of the bacterium at a concentration of 108 colony-forming units/ml. Authors do not report where or when the trials were conducted.