North American Invasive Plant Ecology and Management Short Course
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Herbicide Discovery and Screening

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Historically, herbicides have been discovered by randomly screening collections of chemicals for activity on target weeds. While totally empirical, this approach has been surprisingly successful and has produced essentially all commercial herbicides currently in use. More recently, agrichemical companies have adopted directed strategies using in vitro assays, compound structure/activity relationships, and profiling assays of mRNAs, proteins, and metabolites. These latter approaches, in combination with high-throughput screens, are designed to exploit recent advances in technology and take advantage of our increased understanding of biological systems.

OVERVIEW AND OBJECTIVES


William E. Dyer
Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology
Montana State University, USA

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Overview:

Historically, herbicides have been discovered by randomly screening collections of chemicals for activity on target weeds.  While totally empirical, this approach has been surprisingly successful and has produced essentially all commercial herbicides currently in use.  More recently, agrichemical companies have adopted directed strategies using in vitro assays, compound structure/activity relationships, and profiling assays of mRNAs, proteins, and metabolites.  These latter approaches, in combination with high-throughput screens, are designed to exploit recent advances in technology and take advantage of our increased understanding of biological systems.

Objectives:

At the completion of the lesson, students will be able to:
 

  1. Describe the history of herbicide discovery and development.
  2. Describe newer techniques currently used to discover and screen herbicides.
  3. Understand the advantages and disadvantages of the currently used methodologies.  

 

 

 

Lesson Navigation Tips:

  • Click on ’Animations’ button found to the left in order to view the animation which supplements this lesson. You can also click on the animation icon within the text.
  • Click once on figures to see enlarged versions.
  • Click once on words in rust color to bring up their definitions.




Development of this lesson was supported in part by the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station, Montana State University, and the Western Society of  Weed Science.

 

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