17 Jun 2009

Gingko herb tested as biocontrol agent

11:24 am on 17 June 2009

Researchers at the University of Waikato are testing the effectiveness of using a spray made from the herb gingko as a biocontrol agent.

Gingko biloba is one of the oldest trees on earth and its longevity can be partly attributed to naturally-occurring toxic compounds it produces.

Research by biochemical engineering student Richard Gubb has successfully demonstrated that snails were repelled from eating lettuce leaves coated with a gingko extract.

However, one of Mr Gubb's supervisors, Giridhar Nair, says more research is needed, including whether gingko is effective at repelling other insects.