APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Low persistence in the environment
- Low toxicity to non-target organisms (e.g., mammals, fish, and microbes)
- Relatively low cost
- Biologically derived
- Easy to prepare and apply due to high water solubility
Researchers Aindrila Mukhopadhyay, Jenny Mortimer, Robin Herbert, and Thomas Eng of Berkeley Lab’s JointBioEnergy Institute have developed Cholinium lysinate [Ch][Lys] as a broad spectrum post-emergence herbicide at low concentration. [Ch][Lys], an ionic liquid reported to have low toxicity for mammals, fish, and microbes, is proposed as a bulk chemical for deconstruction of biomass for biofuels, making it available at a low cost in the near future.
When seedlings were transferred to solid media containing low concentrations of [Ch][Lys], the plants demonstrated reduced root growth to complete chlorosis and plant death. Tests on both a monocot (Sorghum bicolor) and a dicot (Arabidopsis thaliana) yielded similar results. Specifically, [Ch][Lys] in varying quantities reduced the root growth of A. thaliana and S. bicolor. [Ch][Lys] could be used to target noxious and intractable weeds such as Johnson grass, as well as emerging invasive plants, such as the brown algae Sargassum.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proven principle
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Herbet et al. 2019 Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, https://doi.org/10.1002/etc.4501
STATUS: Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.
SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:
Tunable pH Ionic Liquids for Pretreatment of Lignocellulosic Materials 2015-096