Bacteria to Control Invasive Grasses

 Cheatgrass (en.wikipedia.org).

Cheatgrass (en.wikipedia.org).

     Ann Kennedy, soil scientist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has been researching natural bacteria in the soil for the past 30 years, and after testing thousands of types of bacteria she has settled on two that have shown promise in controlling invasive species like cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusas). The bacteria chosen are capable of inhibiting root growth for theses annual grasses. 

     One of the bacterium has already been approved by the EPA, and a company has purchased its rights, but it is still unsure whether the bacterium will be brought to market. The other bacteria is still being researched with the help of Gary Page, a county weed inspector who heard about the bacterium two years ago. Page said the bacteria has advantages over traditional herbicides; whereas herbicides are effective for a year, the bacteria should last about 3 years.  

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