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New control tool against invasive plants

October 15, 2019  By Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

MPP Sam Oosterhoff (centre) and Vineland staff (L-R): Charlene Williams, Christine Kempthorne, Dr. David Liscombe, Jason Henry, Ryan Munroe and Kevin Hooton (missing from photo Dr. Darby McGrath)

Thanks to a seed grant from Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), an interdisciplinary team of researchers at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland) has discovered a new approach to control and eradicate invasive plants and weeds. Vineland’s innovative solution utilizes the unique natural chemistry of invasive plants as a source of new sustainable control tool.

“This exciting discovery shows the value that Vineland Research and Innovation Centre brings to Ontario,” said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West. “I am proud to see how the centre collaborates with industry and community to bring forward solutions to real-world problems, while providing value for money to taxpayers. Niagara West is honoured to have this type of forward-looking research taking place in our community.”

“Using Vincetoxicum rossicum, commonly known as Dog Strangling Vine as a model system, our team is assessing whether natural plant chemistry can control invasive species threatening our natural and agricultural spaces,” said Darby McGrath, PhD, Vineland’s Research Scientist, Nursery & Landscape.


Vineland is collaborating with Curator Jon Peter and the Invasive Plant Committee at Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) to explore some of their sites invaded by Dog-Strangling Vine and understand how these invasive plants affect soils and plant communities.

“Royal Botanical Gardens is excited to be assisting Dr. McGrath and Dr. David Liscombe and their teams at Vineland on this important research. Understanding and controlling invasive species is a high priority for us. Dog Strangling Vine in particular is a serious threat to natural habitats in our area,” said David A. Galbraith, PhD, RBG’s Head of Science.

Positive results from this project will help combat invasive species and provide new effective tools for municipalities and landowners to reclaim natural areas (recreational, agricultural and managed woodlots).

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