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News From the Field

UD Plant Biologists Uncover Top Wetland Plant's Hidden Weapon

October 11, 2007

Harsh Bais and Thimmaraju Rudrappa Scientists at the University of Delaware have uncovered a hidden weapon that one of the most invasive wetland plants in the United States uses to silently and efficiently "bump off" its neighbors. The invasive strain of Phragmites australis, or common reed, believed to have originated in Eurasia, exudes from its roots an acid so toxic that the substance literally disintegrates the structural protein in the roots of neighboring plants, thus toppling the competition. Full Story

University of Delaware

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