Is my soil Knotweed free? Prove it with a DNA analysis!

Orvion has developed a DNA analysis that measures the 3 main invasive species of Knotweed. A small piece of plant or root from, for example, a soil deposit is sufficient to demonstrate conclusively that it concerns the harmful variants. A new objective tool for people working at land banks or ecologists in combating the spread of this invasive exotic species. Orvion has previously developed successful analyzes for determining other exotic species: the muskrat and the red American crayfish. Now we introduce the Knotweed analysis.

Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia Japonica) is a special plant. Native to East Asia and introduced to Europe in 1825 by the Horticultural society of London. The plant is a very strong usurer and causes considerable damage. With roots that grow up to 3 meters deep and can demolish foundations. A small piece of root can grow into a full-fledged plant.

After 2 weeks, the bare rhizome used for the development of the DNA analysis already has shoots of more than 20 cm.

The Netherlands is an ideal country for the plant. The three species that thrive here are Fallopia Japonica (Japanese Knotweed), Fallopia Sachalinensis (Sachaline Knotweed) and the Bohemian or Bastard Knotweed, a cross of these two species. In an article by the AD you can read more about the problem and it is called a botanical monster.

In many municipalities the plant causes nuisance. For example, Nijmegen and Arnhem have raised the alarm and the municipality of Arnhem asks on its site to report the occurrence. The municipality of Amsterdam and Rotterdam have digital maps with the location of Duizendknop.

The map of Amsterdam with the distribution of Knotweed

Fighting Knotweed is a tricky business. The Probos Foundation has conducted a practical test in which various control techniques were compared. The results can be found on the site

At the moment there is no directive or legislation in the Netherlands about the processing of soil contaminated with knotweed. Until now, a visual check of the occurrence of Knotweed has been the only way. A new, fast and objective check has been added with a DNA analysis on plant material. Root or other plant material from soil lots can be sent to us for analysis. A small root fragment is enough to perform an identification. It is also possible to send soil samples to us. We sieve the soil and determine on the root parts whether there is contamination with Knotweed.

For questions, please contact Marc van Bemmel.

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