Title:
2-Propenal and Related Enal Compounds for Controlling Plant Pests and Weeds in Soil
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method for controlling pests and weeds on or around plants, especially crop plants is disclosed. The method includes admixing 2-propenal or other related enal compounds to form an aqueous solution, and applying the aqueous solution to plants, plant seeds, weeds, or soil around the around the area in which the plants grow.



Inventors:
Rodriguez-kabana, Rodrigo (Auburn, AL, US)
Guertal, Elizabeth A. (Auburn, AL, US)
Walker, Robert H. (Auburn, AL, US)
Teem, David H. (Auburn, AL, US)
Application Number:
12/190302
Publication Date:
12/18/2008
Filing Date:
08/12/2008
Assignee:
Auburn University (Auburn, AL, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
514/703
International Classes:
A01N35/04; A01P7/04; A01P13/02; A61K31/11; A61P43/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
PAK, JOHN D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ANDRUS, SCEALES, STARKE & SAWALL, LLP (100 EAST WISCONSIN AVENUE, SUITE 1100, MILWAUKEE, WI, 53202, US)
Claims:
1. A method for controlling pests and weeds on or around plants, comprising the steps of: providing as an active compound an olefinically unsaturated lower alkyl aldehyde having the formula where R may be hydrogen or a straight chain alkyl radical having 1 to 5 carbon atoms; admixing an effective amount of said active compound with water to form an aqueous solution; and applying the aqueous solution to plants, plant seeds, weeds or soil around the area in which the plants grow at a rate of about 200 pounds to about 800 pounds of said active compound per acre of soil.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein the active compound is 2-propenal having the structure

3. 3.-5. (canceled)

6. The method of claim 1 wherein said plants are crop plants.

7. The method of claim 6 wherein said crop plants are selected from the group consisting of corn, wheat, barley, oats, rice, sorghum, cotton, soybeans, potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes, sunflowers, sugar beets, oilseeds, peppers, turnips, turf and cabbage.

8. (canceled)

9. The method of claim 1 comprising the further step of, after applying the aqueous solution to soil, drenching the soil to a depth of about 10 to about 12 inches.

10. The method of claim 1 wherein said water comprises irrigation water.

11. 11.-26. (canceled)

27. The method of claim 1 comprising the further step of, before applying the aqueous solution, mixing the aqueous solution containing said active compound with an herbicide, pesticide or combination of an herbicide and pesticide.

28. The method of claim 1 comprising the further step of applying, separately from applying said aqueous solution, an herbicide, pesticide or combination of an herbicide and pesticide to plants, plant seeds, weeds or soil around the area in which plants grow.

29. A method for controlling pests and weeds on or around plants, comprising the steps of: providing as an active compound an olefinically unsaturated lower alkyl aldehyde having the formula where R may be hydrogen or a straight chain alkyl radical having 1 to 5 carbon atoms; admixing an effective amount of said active compound with water to form an aqueous solution; and applying the aqueous solution to plants, plant seeds, weeds or soil around the area in which the plants grow at a rate that is greater than about 400 pounds of said active compound per acre of soil.

30. The method of claim 29, wherein the active compound is 2-propenal having the structure

31. The method of claim 29 wherein said plants are crop plants.

32. The method of claim 31 wherein said crop plants are selected from the group consisting of corn, wheat, barley, oats, rice, sorghum, cotton, soybeans, potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes, sunflowers, sugar beets, oilseeds, peppers, turnips, turf and cabbage.

33. The method of claim 29 comprising the further step of, after applying the aqueous solution to soil, drenching the soil to a depth of about 10 to about 12 inches.

34. The method of claim 29 wherein said water comprises irrigation water.

35. The method of claim 29 comprising the further step of, before applying the aqueous solution, mixing the aqueous solution containing said active compound with an herbicide, pesticide or combination of an herbicide and pesticide.

36. The method of claim 29 comprising the further step of applying, separately from applying said aqueous solution, an herbicide, pesticide or combination of an herbicide and pesticide to plants, plant seeds, weeds or soil around the area in which plants grow.

37. A method for controlling pests and weeds on or around plants, comprising the steps of: providing as an active compound 2-propenal having the structure admixing an effective amount of said active compound with water to form an aqueous solution; and applying the aqueous solution to plants, plant seeds, weeds or soil around the area in which the plants grow at a rate that is effective for controlling pests and weeds on or around said plants.

38. The method of claim 37 wherein said plants are crop plants.

39. The method of claim 38 wherein said crop plants are selected from the group consisting of corn, wheat, barley, oats, rice, sorghum, cotton, soybeans, potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes, sunflowers, sugar beets, oilseeds, peppers, turnips, turf and cabbage.

40. The method of claim 37 comprising the further step of, after applying the aqueous solution to soil, drenching the soil to a depth of about 10 to about 12 inches.

41. The method of claim 37 wherein said water comprises irrigation water.

42. The method of claim 37 comprising the further step of, before applying the aqueous solution, mixing the aqueous solution containing said active compound with an herbicide, pesticide or combination of an herbicide and pesticide.

43. The method of claim 37 comprising the further step of applying, separately from applying said aqueous solution, an herbicide, pesticide or combination of an herbicide and pesticide to plants, plant seeds, weeds or soil around the area in which plants grow.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION(S)

This application is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 11/260,771, filed on Oct. 27, 2005, now issued as U.S. patent Ser. No. ______, on (month) (date), (year), the content of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety; which application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/622,460, filed on Oct. 27, 2004.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to pesticides and herbicides, and more particularly to the use of 2-propenal and related enal compounds for controlling pests and weeds on or around plants, especially crop plants.

A variety of herbicides are well known and have been long used to kill unwanted weeds in crop fields. Typically, these herbicides are sprayed onto the soil (pre-emergence), or onto the plants themselves (post-emergence). Pesticides are also well known, and are necessary for reducing the level of pest infestation in the soil around the area in which the plants grow or on the plants themselves. One such pesticide is methyl bromide. Methyl bromide is an odorless, colorless gas that has been used as an agricultural soil fumigant to control a wide variety of pests. However, because it has been discovered that methyl bromide depletes the stratospheric ozone layer, its use is being phase out. It is therefore desirable to find a replacement for methyl bromide.

It is well known that many herbicides and pesticides are expensive, quite toxic to the environment, and often times result in unintended consequences such as soil and ground water contamination, crop damage, spray drift on non-targeted plant species, and other health concerns. It is therefore desirable to provide an active compound that is relatively inexpensive, is less toxic to the environment, and minimizes the unintended consequences noted above, yet remains effective against weeds and pests.

Herbicides and pesticides also have a further disadvantage in that the active ingredient, as well as being quite toxic, has no function other than killing weeds or pests. In other words, the active ingredient typically does not have any beneficial effect on the soil or for the plant. Thus, it would also be desirable to provide an active ingredient that is not only herbicidally and pesticidally effective, but also may have some beneficial effect on plant growth.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed toward the use of 2-propenal and related enal compounds for controlling pests and weeds on or around plants, particularly crop plants. In one embodiment, the invention is directed toward a method for controlling pests and weeds on or around plants comprising the steps of providing as an active compound an olefinically unsaturated lower alkyl aldehyde having the formula

where R may be hydrogen or a straight chain alkyl radical having 1 to 5 carbon atoms, admixing an effective amount of the active compound with water to form an aqueous solution, and applying the aqueous solution to plants, plant seeds, weeds or soil around the area in which the plants grow. The preferred compounds are 2-propenal (acrolein), 2-butenal (crotonaldehyde) and trans-2-pentenal.

Although the application of these enal compounds are herbicidally and pesticidally effective with all types of plants, they are particularly effective when used to control pests and weeds on or around crop plants. Typical crop plants include corn, wheat, barley, oats, rice, sorghum, cotton, soybeans, potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes, sunflowers, sugar beets, oilseeds, peppers, turnips, turf and cabbage. The above list is not all-inclusive, and only represents but a few of the crop plants with which the active enal compounds disclosed herein can be used.

The active enal compound is admixed with water in an amount of from about 1 to about 1350 parts of the active compound per million parts of water. Typically, the water will comprise irrigation water for the above crop plants. Typical application rates are from about 75 pounds to about 800 pounds of the active compound per acre of soil, and preferably the active is drenched in the soil to a depth of about 10 to about 12 inches to provide effective and long lasting herbicidal and pesticidal activity.

In another embodiment of the invention, it has been unexpectedly found that in low doses, the enal compounds disclosed herein provide a method of enhancing growth of the plants, especially crop plants. It has been discovered that the application of the active compound to soil around the area in which the plants grow in an amount of from about 1 pound to about 600 pounds of said active compound per acre of soil (lbs/A), preferably from about 100 to about 400 lbs/A, results in increased growth of plants as compared to plants growing in untreated soils.

In yet another embodiment of the present invention, it has further been unexpectedly found that the application of the active ingredient to soil around the area in which tomato plants grow results in reduced transplant shock of the tomato plants.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the drawings:

FIG. 1A is a graph illustrating the effect of 2-propenal on reniform and microbivorous nematodes in soil at various pre-emergent application rates.

FIG. 1B is a graph illustrating the effect of 2-propenal on reniform and microbivorous nematodes in soil at termination of experiment.

FIG. 1C is a graph illustrating the effect of 2-propenal on reniform and microbivorous populations in plant root systems at termination of experiment.

FIG. 2A is a graph illustrating the effect of 2-propenal on the growth response of young soybean plants at various pre-emergent application rates.

FIG. 2B is a graph illustrating the effect of 2-propenal on the growth response of soybean plants at various pre-emergent application rates on root weight and root condition of the plant.

FIG. 3 is a graph illustrating the effect of 2-butenal on reniform and microbivorous nematodes in soil at various pre-emergent application rates.

FIG. 4 is a graph illustrating the effect of 2-propenal on yellow nutsedge in response to various post emergent application rates.

FIG. 5 is a graph illustrating the effect of 2-butenal (crotonaldehyde) on yellow nutsedge in response to various post emergent application rates.

FIG. 6A is a graph illustrating the effect of 2-pentenal on reniform nematodes in soil and roots.

FIG. 6B is a graph illustrating the effective of 2-pentenal on microbivorous nematodes in soil and roots.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

It has now been discovered that the addition of olefinically unsaturated lower alkyl aldehydes to water, particularly irrigation water, employed in the agricultural industry for growing plants, especially crop plants, destroys and kills, or at least effectively inhibits, and therefore controls pests and weeds on or around such plants, without adversely affecting the plants themselves. Thus, the use of these olefinically unsaturated lower alkyl aldehydes in the amounts hereinafter described, kills, destroys and/or inhibits the growth of pests and weeds for substantial periods of time without affecting to any material degree the plant itself. These aldehydes thus provide an effective replacement for methyl bromide.

The olefinically unsaturated lower alkyl aldehydes contemplated by the present invention for use as the pesticidally and herbicidally effective active compound are those represented by the following general formula

where R may be hydrogen or a straight chain alkyl radical having 1-5 carbon atoms. The preferred active compounds are 2-propenal (acrolein) having the structure

or 2-butenal (crotonaldehyde) having the structure

or trans-2-pentenal having the structure

The most preferred active compound is 2-propenal which, as noted above, is commonly referred to as acrolein.

The above aldehydes are commercially available or can be synthesized by methods well known in the art. For example, 2-propenal is available under the trade name “MAGNACIDE H” from Baker Petrolite. It may be commercially prepared by vapor phase oxidation of propylene with air or oxygen in the presence of a catalyst. Reference should be made to Shell Oil Copmany's U.S. Pat. No. 2,042,220 for a description of the synthesis. 2-butenal is available under the trade name “crotonaldehyde” from Richmond Chemical, Inc. Trans-2-pentenal is available from Nanyang Chemicals and China Aroma Chemicals Co., Ltd.

The rate of application of the active ingredient will depend on a number of factors including, for example, the extent of the herbicidal and pesticidal activity of the active ingredient, the plant species with which the active ingredient is to be used, the growth stage of the plant, the method of application, the weed and/or pest to be eliminated, and the time period of effectiveness desired, among other factors. As a general guide, however, the application rate of the active ingredient is from about 75 pounds to about 800 pounds of the active compound per acre of soil. For pest control, typical application rates will be about 75 pounds to about 300 pounds per acre of soil, and most preferably about 100 to about 200 pounds of active per acre of soil. For weed control, the application rate is preferably about 200 to about 800 pounds of active per acre of soil, and most preferably about 200 to about 400 pounds of active per acre of soil.

The preferred method of application is addition of the active ingredient to irrigation water. This is typically accomplished by attaching a container of the active ingredient to an irrigation line through a control valve. As irrigation water moves through the irrigation pipe, it draws the active ingredient from its container to be admixed therewith to form the aqueous solution to be applied to the plants, plant seeds, weeds or soil around the area in which the plants grow. The amount of active ingredient is metered by the control valve, or other conventional means. Preferably, to be most effective, the aqueous solution containing the active ingredient should be allowed to drench the soil on which it is applied to a depth of about 10 to about 12 inches. Drenching to this depth will enable the active compound to be herbicidally and pesticidally effective for a longer period of time. However, drenching is not required, but is only preferred. The effective amount of the active ingredient admixed with the irrigation water to form the aqueous solution will typically be from about 1 to about 1350 parts of the active compound per million parts of water. Preferably, the concentration of active in the aqueous solution is from about 300 parts to about 1300 parts of the active compound per million parts of water.

Spraying of the aqueous solution containing one or more active enal compounds is not recommended. The enal compounds disclosed herein are very volatile and hydrophilic. As such, attempting to apply these active ingredients via spraying would result in high evaporation rates of the active compound to the extent that spraying reduces the amount of active ingredient actually applied to the plant, plant seeds, weeds or soil so that this technique is substantially ineffective in controlling pests and weeds.

The aqueous solution containing the active ingredient applied to plants, plant seeds, weeds or soil around the area in which the plants grow, may also contain other adjuvants commonly utilized in agricultural compositions. Such adjuvants include compatibilizing agents, anti-foam agents, sequestering agents, neutralizing agents, buffers, corrosion inhibitors, dyes, odorants, spreading agents, penetration aids, sticking agents, dispersing agents, thickening agents, freezing point depressants, antimicrobial agents, ultraviolet (UV) light absorbers, and the like. The compositions may also contain other compatible components, for example, other herbicides or pesticides, plant growth regulants, fungicides, insecticides, and the like. The active ingredients can also be formulated together with liquid or solid fertilizers such as ammonium nitrate, urea, and the like.

Representative plant species that may be treated with the active enal compounds of the present invention include domestic and agricultural plants, especially crop plants such as corn, wheat, barley, oats, rice, sorghum, cotton, soybeans, potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes, sunflowers, sugar beets, oilseeds, peppers, turnips, turf and cabbage. It should be particularly noted that it is not intended that the use of these active enal compounds and the methods of the present invention be limited only to the above listed plant species. The active ingredient and the method disclosed herein is effective for controlling pests and weeds on or around all plant species.

It will be understood by one skilled in the art that the adjuvants listed above are not essential to the activity of the active enal compounds. Their proportions, therefore, are not critical and may be optimized for the purpose and method of application by one skilled in the art. It should also be apparent to one skilled in the art that the adjuvants listed above may be used alone or in combination with one or more of the active enal compounds of the present invention.

In addition, it will also be apparent to one skilled in the art that the active enal compounds of the present invention may be used singlely (alone), in combination with one or more other active enal compounds, or with one or more other auxiliary herbicides and/or pesticides. Such auxiliary pesticides may be a chemical pesticide, a fungal insecticide, a viral insecticide or a biopesticide such as a Bacillus-based insecticide.

The chemical pesticide may be selected from carbamates, avermectins, insect growth regulators, pyroles, organophosphates, pyrazoles, chlorinated arganics or pyrethroids. The viral insecticide may be a polyhedrosis or a granulosis virus.

Examples of biopesticides include but are not limited to baculoviruses, such as nuclear polyhedrosis virus (NPV), e.g. Autographa californica NPV, Syngrapha falcifera NPV, Heliothis zea NPV, Lymantria dispar NPV, Spodoptera exigua NPV, Neodiprion lecontei NPV, Neodiprion sertifer NPV, Harrisina brillians NPV, Endopiza viteana Clemens NPV; granulosis viruses e.g., Cydia pomonella granulosis virus (GV), Pieris brassicae GV, Pieris rapae GV; entomopathogenic fungi, such as Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium anisopliae, Verticillium lecanii, and Paecilomyces spp. and various Bacillus-based products. Examples of Bacillus-related pesticides include but are not limited to pesticides produced by Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki, Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. aizawai, Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis, Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. tenebrionis, Bacillus sphaericus, Bacillus cerius, Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki/tenebrionis, Bacillus thuringiensis aizawai/kurstaki, and Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki/kurstaki.

The abovementioned pests which can be controlled by the method according to the invention include, for example, insects, representatives of the order acarina and representatives of the class nematoda; especially from the order LepidopteraAcleris spp., Adoxophyes spp., especially Adoxophyes reticulana; Aegeria spp., Agrotis spp., especially Agrotis spinifera; Alabama argillaceae, Amylois spp., Anticarsia gemmatalis, Archips spp., Argyrotaenia spp., Autographa spp., Busseola fusca, Cadra cautella, Carposina nipponensis, Chilo spp., Choristoneura spp., Clysia ambiguella, Cnaphalocrocis spp., Cnephasia spp., Cochylis spp., Coleophora spp., Crocidolomia binotalis, Cryptophlebia leucotreta, Cydia spp., especially Cydia pomonella; Diatraea spp., Diparopsis castanea, Earias spp., Ephestia spp., especially E. Khuniella; Eucosma spp., Eupoecilia ambiguella, Euproctis spp., Euxoa spp., Grapholita spp., Hedya nubiferana, Heliothis spp., especially H. virescens and H. zea; Hellula undalis, Hyphantria cunea, Keiferia lycopersicella, Leucoptera scitella, Lithocollethis spp., Lobesia spp., Lymantria spp., Lyonetia spp., Malacosoma spp., Mamestra brassicae, Manduca sexta, Operophtera spp., Ostrinia nubilalis, Pammene spp., Pandemis spp., Panolis flammea, Pectinophora spp., Phthorimaea operculella, Pieris rapae, Pieris spp., Plutella xylostella, Prays spp., Scirpophaga spp., Sesamia spp., Sparganothis spp., Spodopteralittoralis, Synanthedon spp., Thaumetopoea spp., Tortrix spp., Trichoplusia ni and Yponomeuta spp.; from the order Coleoptera, for example Agriotes spp., Anthonomus spp., Atomaria linearis, Chaetocnema tibialis, Cosmopolites spp., Curculio spp., Dermestes spp., Diabrotica spp., Epilachna spp., Eremnus spp., Leptinotarsa decemlineata, Lissorhoptrus spp., Melolontha spp., Oryzaephilus spp., Otiorhynchus spp., Phlyctinus spp., Popillia spp., Psylliodes spp., Rhizopertha spp., Scarabeidae, Sitophilus spp., Sitotroga spp., Tenebrio spp., Tribolium spp. and Trogoderma spp.; from the order Orthoptera, for example Blatta spp., Blattella spp., Gryllotalpa spp., Leucophaea maderae, Locusta spp., Periplaneta spp. and Schistocerca spp.; from the order Isoptera, for example Reticulitermes spp.; from the order Psocoptera, for example Liposcelis spp.; from the order Anoplura, for example Haematopinus spp., Linognathus spp., Pediculus spp., Pemphigus spp. and Phylloxera spp.; from the order Mallophaga, for example Damalinea spp. and Trichodectes spp.; from the order Thysanoptera, for example Frankliniella spp., Hercinothrips spp., Taeniothrips spp., Thrips palmi, Thrips tabaci and Scirtothrips aurantii; from the order Heteroptera, for example Cimex spp., Distantiella theobroma, Dysdercus spp., Euchistus spp. Eurygaster spp. Leptocorisa spp., Nezara spp., Piesma spp., Rhodnius spp., Sahlbergella singularis, Scotinophara spp. and Triatoma spp.; from the order Homoptera, for example Aleurothrixus floccosus, Aleyrodes brassicae, Aonidiella aurantii, Aphididae, Aphiscraccivora, A. fabae, A. gosypii; Aspidiotus spp., Bemisia tabaci, Ceroplaster spp., Chrysomphalus aonidium, Chrysomphalus dictyospermi, Coccus hesperidum, Empoasca spp., Eriosoma lanigerum, Erythroneura spp., Gascardia spp., Laodelphax spp., Lecanium corni, Lepidosaphes spp., Macrosiphus spp., Myzus spp., especially M. persicae; Nephotettix spp., especially N. cincticeps; Nilaparvata spp., especially N. lugens; Paratoria spp., Pemphigus spp., Planococcus spp., Pseudaulacaspis spp., Pseudococcus spp., especially P. Fragilis, P. citriculus and P. comstocki; Psylla spp., especially P. pyri; Pulvinaria aethiopica, Quadraspidiotus spp., Rhopalosiphum spp., Saissetia spp., Scaphoideus spp., Schizaphis spp., Sitobion spp., Trialeurodes vaporariorum, Trioza erytreae and Unaspis citri; from the order Hymenoptera, for example Acromyrmex, Atta spp., Cephus spp., Diprion spp., Diprionidae, Gilpinia polytoma, Hoplocampa spp., Lasius spp., Monomorium pharaonis, Neodiprion spp., Solenopsis spp. and Vespa spp.; from the order Diptera, for example Aedes spp., Antherigona soccata, Bibio hortulanus, Calliphora erythrocephala, Ceratitis spp., Chrysomyia spp., Culex spp., Cuterebra spp., Dacus spp., Drosophila melanogaster, Fannia spp., Gastrophilus spp., Glossina spp., Hypoderma spp., Hyppobosca spp., Liriomyza spp., Lucilia spp., Melanagromyza spp., Musca spp., Oestrus spp., Orseolia spp., Oscinella frit, Pegomyia hyoscyami, Phorbia spp., Rhagoletis pomonella, Sciara spp., Stomoxys spp., Tabanus spp., Tannia spp. and Tipula spp.; from the order Siphonaptera, for example Ceratophyllus spp. and Xenopsylla cheopis; from the order Thysanura, for example Lepisma saccharina and from the order Acarina, for example Acarus siro, Aceria sheldoni; Aculus spp., especially A. schlechtendali; Amblyomma spp., Argas spp., Boophilus spp., Brevipalpus spp., especially B. californicus and B. phoenicis; Bryobia praetiosa, Calipitrimerus spp., Chorioptes spp., Dermanyssus gallinae, Eotetranychus spp., especially E. carpini and E. orientalis; Eriophyes spp., especially E. vitis; Hyalomma spp., Ixodes spp., Olygonychus pratensis, Ornithodoros spp., Panonychus spp., especially P. ulmi and P. citri; Phyllocoptruta spp., especially P. oleivora; Polyphagotarsonemus spp., especially P. latus; Psoroptes spp., Rhipicephalus spp., Rhizoglyphus spp., Sarcoptes spp., Tarsonemus spp. and Tetranychus spp., in particular T. urticae, T. cinnabarinus and T. kanzawai; representatives of the class Nematoda; (1) nematodes selected from the group consisting of root knot nematodes, cyst-forming nematodes, stem eelworms and foliar nematodes; (2) nematodes selected from the group consisting of Anguina spp.; Aphelenchoides spp.; Ditylenchus spp.; Globodera spp., for example Globodera rostochiensis; Heterodera spp., for example Heterodera avenae, Heterodera glycines, Heterodera schachtii or Heterodera trifolii; Longidorus spp.; Meloidogyne spp., for example Meloidogyne incognita or Meloidogyne javanica; Pratylenchus, for example Pratylenchus neglectans or Pratylenchus penetrans; Radopholus spp., for example Radopholus similis; Trichodorus spp.; Tylenchulus, for example Tylenchulus semipenetrans; and Xiphinema spp.; or (3) nematodes selected from the group consisting of Heterodera spp., for example Heterodera glycines; and Meloidogyne spp., for example Meloidogyne incognita.

The method according to the invention allows pests of the abovementioned type to be controlled, i.e. contained or destroyed, which occur, in particular, on plants, mainly useful crop plants and ornamentals in agriculture, in horticulture and in forests, or on parts, such as fruits, flowers, foliage, stalks, tubers or roots, of such plants. The protection against these pests in some cases even extends to plant parts which form at a later point in time.

The above-mentioned weeds which can be controlled by the method according to the present invention include, for example, the following:

yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus)

purple nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus)

bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon)

torpedograss (Panicum repens)

morningglory (Ipomoea spp.)

pigweed (Amaranthus spp.)

crabgrass (Digitaria spp.)

goosegrass (Eleusine indica)

junglerice (Echinochloa colonum)

broadleaf signalgrass (Urochloa platphylla)

Texas panicum (Panicum texanum)

sicklepod (Senna obtusifolia)

jimson weed (Datura stramonium)

foxtail (Setaria spp.)

prickly sida (Sida Spinosa)

small-flower morningglory Jacquemontia tamnifolia)

henbit (Lamium amplexicaule)

wild radish (Rhapanus rhaphanistrum)

The above list is not all-inclusive but only provides many of the more common weeds against which the active enal compounds are effective.

EXAMPLE 1

Methods and Materials

The nematicidal properties of 2-propenal (CH2═CH—CHO; acrolein), 2-butenal (CH3—CH═CH—CHO; crotonaldehyde), and trans 2-pentenal (CH3—CH2—CH═CH—CHO) were studied in greenhouse experiments with soil severely infected with the reniform nematode (Rotylenchulus reniformis). The soil was collected from a cotton field and was a sandy loam with pH 6.2, organic matter content <1.0% and cation exchange capacity <10 meq/100 gms soil. The soil was mixed 50:50 by volume, with washed fine siliceous river sand and the mixture, here-from referred to as soil. The moist soil (50% field capacity) was apportioned in 1 Kg quantities contained in 4 L polyethylene bags. The compounds were applied to the soil in the bags, and after thorough mixing the treated soil was transferred to 1 L capacity, 4-inch-diam. plastic (PVC) pots which were then covered with a polyethylene bag (1 mil) held tightly to the outside wall of the pot with a rubber band. The covered pots were placed on a greenhouse table and after 10 days the bags were removed and soil samples for nematode analyses were collected from each pot. The pots were planted with “Young” soybean (5 seed/pot.) Soybean plants were grown for 8 weeks when they were removed, soil samples taken for nematode analysis (salad bowl incubation technique), and data were collected on shoot height, and fresh weights of shoots and roots. The relative health of the root systems was determined using a subjective scale. In the scale values ranged from 1 to 5, a value of 1 corresponded to healthy, well develop and clean looking root systems without necrotic area and no disease symptoms; a value of 5 represented roots with severely reduced development and obvious disease symptoms including large portions with necrotic and/or rotten tissue. Values between 1 and 5 represented intermediate degrees of damage. The roots were incubated to assess nematode populations in them.

Herbicidal properties of the compounds were studied as described for experiments on nematicidal activities. The soil was from a cotton field with a silt loam soil from a cotton field with similar properties as the one used for the nematode experiments. It was infested with a variety of weeds and was artificially seeded with 5 yellow nutsedge tubercles/pot. Nutsedge plants and other weeds were grown for a month, and the pots were then treated with 2-propenal and covered with polyethylene bags for 10 days, when the bags were removed and weed counts taken at two weeks and one month after treatment. Rates used in these experiments were: 0, 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, and 800 mgs/kg soil.

Emulsifiable concentrates (EC's) were prepared for all three compounds containing 10% (w/w) emulsogen. The EC's were used to make aqueous emulsions containing 2.5% active ingredient; these emulsions were then used to deliver the compounds to soil. Each compound was delivered using the following rates: 0, 25, 50, 75, 100, 125, 150, 175, 200, 225, 250, 275, 300 mgs/kg soil. In every experiment there were 6 replications (pots) per treatment arranged in a randomized complete block design.

All data were analyzed according to standard procedures for analysis of variance. Fisher's Least Significant Differences (FLSD) were calculated when F values were significant and are included in the graphs. Curvilineal analyses were conducted according to standard procedures with the TableCurve 2D program.

Results

Nematicidal Activity, 2-propenal. Data obtained from the experiment with 2-propenal are presented in FIGS. 1A-1E and 2A-2E. The compound reduced exponentially populations of reniform and microbivorous nematodes in pre-plant samples (FIGS. 1A-1B). A dose of 50 mgs/kg soil equivalent to 100 lbs/A resulted in >90% reduction in these populations. Soil and root samples at the end of the pre-plant samples; however, microbivorous populations had recovered in response to applications of <100 mgs/kg soil and were even stimulated by the 75 mg rate.

Sharp increases in shoot height and weights were observed in response to dosages ≦50 mgs (FIGS. 2A-2C); this was followed by gradual decline in values for the two variables. The overall response was typical of a log-normal model. Root weights increased gradually (FIGS. 2D-2E) in response to rates up to 175 mgs and declined with higher dosages in a typical Gaussian symmetrical pattern. Root condition was improved by all but the highest dose of 2-propenal (FIG. 2D).

2-butenal. Response patterns of nematodes to applications of 2-butenal were very similar to those described for 2-propenal. FIG. 3 serves to illustrate the similarity of response between the two compounds.

2-pentenal. Response patterns of nematodes to applications of 2-pentenal were very similar to those described for 2-propenal. FIGS. 6A-6B serve to illustrate the similarity of responses between the two compounds.

Herbicidal Activity. Application of 2-propenal resulted in sharp declines in the number of yellow nutsedge weeds in response to increasing doses of the chemical (FIG. 4). The relation between dose and weed population adjusted well to an inverse cubic model (FIG. 4) indicating that doses ≧200 mgs/kgs soil applied post-emergence resulted in practical elimination of the weed.

Application of 2-butenal also resulted in sharp declines in the number of yellow nutsedge weeds in response to increasing dose of the chemical (FIG. 5). FIG. 5 thus illustrates the similarity of responses between the two compounds.

Application of 2-pentenal is likewise expected to result in sharp declines in the number of yellow nutsedge weeds in response to increasing doses of the chemical (data not shown).

Conclusions

2-propenal, 2-butenal and 2-pentenal are powerful nematicidal and herbicidal compounds with long-term effects against plant pathogenic nematodes but with no long lasting negative effects on beneficial microbivorous nematodes. Application rates of 50-100 mgs/kg soil which are equivalent to 100-200 lbs/acre (lbs/A) on a broadcast basis eliminate plant pathogenic nematodes, retain microbivorous nematodes and increase growth of plants. Yellow nutsedge, a hard-to-kill species, and other weeds were practically eliminated with rates ≧200 mgs/kg soil; the 200 (mgs/kg) rate is equivalent to 400 lbs/A on a broadcast basis. These rates are very practical and are considerably below those used with methyl bromide (400-1000 lbs/A) for soil fumigation. The fact that 2-propenal and 2-butenal are precursors for the synthesis of many other organic compounds makes these chemicals available in large quantities and at a very reasonable price compared with current prices for methyl bromide.

EXAMPLE 2

This example together with the data in Table 1 includes results of a study conducted to test the affects of acrolein on tomato plant growth. The first column in Table 1 includes, from left to right the treatment number, the treatment name, the rate of application, and the unit for that rate. The treatment name includes two separate treatment ingredients for each treatment number. The top name of each treatment name lists the test additive, and the bottom listing of the treatment name lists any additional herbicide applied in that particular treatment number. For example, in treatment number 5, methyl bromide was applied with a sandea herbicide. The rate and the rate unit headings, for this study, lists the amount of application of the treatment ingredients in pounds of active ingredients per acre (lb ai/a). Column 2 of Table 1 lists a vigor rating for each tomato plant on a scale of 1 to 5, wherein a 1 rating indicates a tomato plant with very little vigor, and a 5 rating indicates a very vigorous tomato plant. Column 2 lists vigor scale ratings for each treatment number taken on Aug. 17, 2005, and column 3 lists a vigor rating for each treatment taken on Aug. 25, 2005. Comparing column 2 to column 3 will illustrate whether any given treatment had a positive or negative effect on the vigor of the tomato plant.

Still referring to Table 1, treatment number 1 shows a “check 1” treatment with no additional herbicide. This treatment is merely a “check” treatment, meaning that neither methyl bromide, nor acrolein were applied to the tomato plant. In treatment 1, the vigor of the tomato plant decreased from 3.5 to 3.0 over the duration of the test. Treatment 4 shows that 350 pounds of active ingredient per acre of methyl bromide 1 was applied to the tomato plant with no additional herbicide, which resulted in no change in vigor scale rating over the term of the test. Treatment numbers 7 and 13 illustrate acrolein injected into the soil with no additional herbicides at relatively low rates of 200 pounds of active ingredient per acre and 400 pounds of active ingredient per acre, respectively. In treatment number 7, the vigor of the tomato plant enjoyed an increase of 4.25 to 4.75, and in test 13, the tomato plant enjoyed an increase in vigor of 4.0 to 5.0. The results included in Table 1 support the conclusion that relatively small amounts of acrolein applied to the soil around tomato plants increase the vigor and stimulates growth of the tomato plants, while applying methyl bromide to the soil around tomato plants results in no significant improvement in vigor and/or growth of tomato plants. At the same time, the untreated tomato plants showed a decrease in vigor scale.

TABLE 1
TOMATOTOMATO
17 Aug. 200525 Aug. 2005
VIGORVIGOR
TrtTreatmentRate1-5SCALE1-5SCALE
No.NameRateUnit23
1CHECK 13.5003.000
NONE
2CHECK 13.2503.250
SANDEA0.25lb ai/a
3CHECK 13.0003.500
V-101420.25lb ai/a
4METHYL BROMIDE 1350lb ai/a2.5002.500
NO HERBICIDE
5METHYL BROMIDE 1350lb ai/a2.2502.750
SANDEA0.25lb ai/a
6METHYL BROMIDE 1350lb ai/a2.0002.650
V-101420.25lb ai/a
7ACROLEIN INJECT200lb ai/a4.2504.750
NO HERBICIDE
8ACROLEIN INJECT200lb ai/a4.0004.750
SANDEA0.25lb ai/a
9ACROLEIN INJECT200lb ai/a4.0004.750
V-101420.25lb ai/a
10ACROLEIN DRIP600lb ai/a1.2502.500
NO HERBICIDE
11ACROLEIN DRIP600lb ai/a1.5002.500
SANDEA0.25lb ai/a
12ACROLEIN DRIP600lb ai/a2.2502.900
V-101420.25lb ai/a
13ACROLEIN INJECT400lb ai/a4.0005.000
NO HERBICIDE
14ACROLEIN INJECT400lb ai/a3.0004.250
SANDEA0.25lb ai/a
15ACROLEIN INJECT400lb ai/a4.0004.650
V-101420.25lb ai/a
16ACROLEIN DRIP400lb ai/a3.0003.250
NO HERBICIDE
17ACROLEIN DRIP400lb ai/a2.7503.500
SANDEA0.25lb ai/a
18ACROLEIN DRIP400lb ai/a3.0003.250
V-101420.25lb ai/a
19ACROLEIN DRIP200lb ai/a3.0004.000
NO HERBICIDE
20ACROLEIN DRIP200lb ai/a3.0003.750
SANDEA0.25lb ai/a
21ACROLEIN DRIP200lb ai/a3.0003.850
V-101420.25lb ai/a
22ACROLEIN INJECT600lb ai/a3.2504.250
NO HERBICIDE
23ACROLEIN INJECT600lb ai/a3.2504.000
SANDEA0.25lb ai/a
24ACROLEIN INJECT600lb ai/a3.2503.750
V-101420.25lb ai/a
25METHYL BROMIDE 2350lb ai/a2.2502.500
NO HERBICIDE
26METHYL BROMIDE 2350lb ai/a2.5002.500
SANDEA0.25lb ai/a
27METHYL BROMIDE 2350lb ai/a2.5002.500
V-101420.25lb ai/a
28CHECK 2350lb ai/a3.2503.500
NO HERBICIDE
29CHECK 22.7503.250
SANDEA0.25lb ai/a
30CHECK 23.0003.250
V-101420.25lb ai/a