The root-parasitic plant Striga asiatica (L.) Kuntze was first confirmed in Australia on 11 July 2013 near Mackay in Central Queensland. The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries initiated response activities and an eradication program commenced on 1 July 2015. The Eradication Program utilises a range of treatments to target depletion of the Striga soil seed bank including ethylene gas injected as a soil fumigant. The success of using ethylene to target a Striga seed bank in the US Witchweed Eradication Program provides the basis of adoption of this treatment in Australia . However, further research is required to determine methods to optimise the use of ethylene in Australian conditions. My research includes monitoring the movement and retention of ethylene gas through the soil profile in different conditions and linking these exposure concentrations to the lethal dose requirements for Striga seed.

Funding: Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Project members

Anna Williams

PHD candidate
School of Agriculture and Food Science