The effects of the fungal protein Nep1 and Pseudomonas syringae pv. tagetis (Pst) applied separately or in combination on Canada thistle, common ragweed, and common dandelion were examined in growth chamber experiments. Experiments examined five treatments: (1) untreated control, (2) Silwet L-77 (0.3%, v/v) control, (3) Nep1 (5 μg ml−1) plus Silwet L-77 (0.3%, v/v), (4) Pst (109 colony-forming units [cfu] ml−1) plus Silwet L-77 (0.3%, v/v), and (5) Pst (109 cfu ml−1) and Nep1 (5 μg ml−1) plus Silwet L-77 (0.3%, v/v). Foliar treatments were applied at 28, 26, and 21 d after planting for Canada thistle, common dandelion, and common ragweed, respectively. For all three species, foliar application of Nep1 alone or in combination with Pst caused rapid desiccation and necrosis of leaves, with the greatest effect on recent, fully expanded (RFE) leaves. Within 4 to 8 h after treatment (HAT), 60 to 80% of RFE leaves of all three species were necrotic. Measured 72 HAT, Pst populations in Canada thistle leaves treated with Nep1 plus Pst were approximately 105 cfu cm−2 compared with 107 cfu cm−2 for leaves treated with Pst alone. Measured 2 wk after treatment, foliar application of Nep1 reduced shoot dry weight of the three weeds by 30 to 41%. Treatment with Pst reduced shoot growth of common ragweed, Canada thistle, and common dandelion by 82, 31, and 41%, respectively. The large suppression of common ragweed shoot growth caused by Pst treatment was associated with a high percentage (60%) of leaf area exhibiting chlorosis. Treatment with Pst plus Nep1 did not result in significant decreases in shoot dry weight for Canada thistle and common dandelion compared with either treatment alone. For common ragweed, shoot growth reduction caused by applying Pst and Nep1 together was not greater than that caused by Pst alone.
Nomenclature: Canada thistle, Cirsium arvense L. (Scop.) CIRAR; common ragweed, Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. AMBEL; common dandelion, Taraxacum officinale Weber in Wiggers TAROF.