University of Hawai'i
Media & Publications
Honolulu, HI 96822
Telephone: (808) 956-8856
Facsimile: (808) 956-3441
Air Date: May 8, 1997
Contact: Eduardo Trujillo, (808) 956-7820
Introducing Fungus to Control Banana Poka and Lantana
Encouraged by the apparent success of a fungus in controlling problem weeds, a University of Hawai'i plant pathologist is ready to release a second fungus within a month. The fungus appears to be making a dent in banana poka in the high forests on the islands of Hawai'i, Maui and Kauai.
The second fungus attacks Lantana camara, a major plant pest in Kokee State Park.
Eduardo Trujillo has been working on the natural pathogen approach to weed control for more than two decades. Because the plants are an introduced species, Trujillo goes to their native area to search for an appropriate pathogen. Extensive testing must then be done to ensure that the alien pathogen will be effective on the target plant without harming native species.
Trujillo shifted his attention from insect plants to plant fungi, which are easily spread in the environment and attack plants while they are still seedlings.
This is the University Report, I'm Tracy Orillo Donovan.