Fungal Biocontrol of Invasive Noxious Poison Ivy

Poison ivy is a noxious native plant species that when touched by humans causes a delayed contact dermatitis resulting in a swollen, blistering, painful, oozing, and itching skin rash. Poison ivy is a frequent wild volunteer plant in managed landscapes and gardens.

Although there are synthetic chemical control measures for killing poison ivy (i.e., herbicides), many owners and custodians of these managed environments would prefer a bona fide natural biocontrol agent to kill poison ivy over exiciting synthetic herbicides.

To this end, the present invention is a naturally occurring fungal pathogen of poison ivy, that when applied to poison ivy seedlings results in a high incidence of poison ivy wilting and mortality. The fungal strain should be amendable to a variety of storage and application methods facilitating its commercial use as an effective biocontrol agent for invasive noxious poison ivy plants in managed recreation environments, landscapes, agricultural orchards/fields, and home gardens.

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Rob Whitehead
Senior Licensing Manager
Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties, Inc.
(540) 443-9219
John Jelesko
Matthew Kasson