UBC Undergraduate Research

The control of Giant Hogweed (Heracleum Mantegazzianum) and Canada Thistle (Cirsium Arvense) by the organic herbicides Ecoclear (acetic acid) and Topgun (pelargonic acid) Fung, Lanie


Organic herbicides have been found to be effective in weed control. Topgun and Ecoclear are both organic herbicides, but differ in their active ingredients. Topgun is a fatty acid based herbicide and contains the active ingredient pelargonic acid; while Ecoclear is vinegar based herbicide with the active ingredient being acetic acid. Both of these substances work by drying out the vegetation it contacts and destroying the waxy cuticle of the leaf. Through protein analysis we found that the proteins Rubisco and Light Harvesting Complex were proteins degraded by the herbicides. The proteins were degraded in a two stage process where the plasma membrane was first destablized and broken, then Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) oxidized the proteins, causing them to be degraded (Fukuda et al., 2004). Over a three week period, all Canada Thistle plants and Giant Hogweed plants were seemingly eradicated. Also, higher concentrations of herbicide were correlated with faster plant death. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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