Invasive plants are of increasing concern to producers and consumers due to their impact on native environments and the economic costs incurred to manage them. Invasive plants are considered one of the least reversible of all human impacts on the environment. There are significant environmental and financial costs associated with invasive plants in the United States. An invasive non-native plant can be defined as one that has or is likely to spread into native flora and managed plant systems, develop self-sustaining populations, and become dominant or disruptive to those systems. Prolific seed production is a key characteristic associated with plant invasiveness. Therefore, our research goal has been to prevent seed production using biotechnology and mutagenesis breeding strategies. Radiation sensitivities for gamma and fast neutron treatments of seeds and unrooted cuttings were established for Acer ginnala Maxim. and Berberis thunbergii DC. Individual plants with novel traits, relative to non-mutagenized controls of A. ginnala and B. thunbergii were observed, which included seedlessness. The issues related to invasive plants with a focus on our ongoing research at the University Minnesota using mutagenesis breeding to produce seedless and, therefore, non-invasive varieties is discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank Bailey Nurseries, Inc., the J. Frank Schmidt Family Charitable Foundation, the Minnesota Landscape Association and the Minnesota Agricultural Experimental Station for generous support. We also thank Ben Clasen, Alex Hummel, Jessica Rydeen for their help during the course of this research.
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- Acer ginnala (amur maple)
- Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
- Fast neutron
- Non-native invasive