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10 July 2023 Views of RNAi Approaches for Weed Management in Turfgrass Systems
Sandra R. Ethridge, Khara Grieger, Anna M. Locke, Wesley J. Everman, David L. Jordan, Ramon G. Leon
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Public concern regarding the use of herbicides in urban areas (e.g., golf courses, parks, lawns) is increasing. Thus, there is a need for alternative methods for weed control that are safe for the public, effective against weeds, and yet selective to turfgrass and other desirable species. New molecular tools such as ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi) have the potential to meet all those requirements, but before these technologies can be implemented, it is critical to understand the perceptions of key stakeholders to facilitate adoption as well as regulatory processes. With this in mind, turfgrass system managers, such as golf course superintendents and lawn care providers, were surveyed to gain insight into the perception and potential adoption of RNAi technology for weed management. Based on survey results, turfgrass managers believe that cost of weed management and time spent managing weeds are the main challenges faced in their fields. When considering new weed management tools, survey respondents were most concerned about cost, efficacy, and efficiency of a new product. Survey respondents were also optimistic toward RNAi for weed management and would either use this technology in their own fields or be willing to conduct research to develop RNAi herbicides. Although respondents believed that the general public would have some concerns about this technology, they did not believe this to be the most important factor for them when choosing new weed management tools. The need for new herbicides to balance weed control challenges and public demands is a central factor for turfgrass managers' willingness to use RNAi-based weed control in turfgrass systems. They believe their clientele will be accepting of RNAi tools, although further research is needed to investigate how a wider range of stakeholders perceive RNAi tools for turfgrass management more broadly.

Sandra R. Ethridge, Khara Grieger, Anna M. Locke, Wesley J. Everman, David L. Jordan, and Ramon G. Leon "Views of RNAi Approaches for Weed Management in Turfgrass Systems," Weed Science 71(4), 344-352, (10 July 2023).
Received: 17 March 2023; Accepted: 27 June 2023; Published: 10 July 2023
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