A New Safer Class of Agricultural Nematicides Targeting a Specific Gene
Plant parasitic nematodes are among the most important pests of crops in the United States. The USDA's Committee on National Needs and Priorities in Nematology estimated the value of plant damage by nematodes in the U.S. at $7-9 billion annually. Chemical control of nematodes has proven to be effective; however most nematicides have toxicological or environmental concerns and many are under regulatory pressure. The goal of this research is the development of novel, safe and effective nematicidal agents for use against plant-parasitic nematodes. An Active Mixture with specificity and activity against plant parasitic nematodes has been selected from a new class of safer chemistry. Formulation technology will be used to optimize bioavailability of the compound in soil achieving at least a five-fold improvement in potency. Performance in soil and spectrum of activity will be characterized and this information will be used to design a field evaluation program for Phase II in key crops such as tomato, potato, tobacco, cotton, soybean, and turf. Positive results in Phase II will lead to the rapid commercialization of a new nematicide for U.S. growers.
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