At Montpellier, EBCL molecular biologist Marie-Claude Bon is using DNA-based methods to analyze the genetic diversity of silverleaf nightshade populations collected from sites in the southwestern United States, Argentina, Greece, France, and Australia.
After processing these data, we're hoping to use satellite photos to have a precise map of silverleaf nightshade populations and densities in various areas of Greece," says Javid Kashefi, an EBCL entomologist stationed at the American Farm School in Thessaloniki.
There's also keen interest for similar projects in North African countries where silverleaf nightshade is the top weed pest, he adds.
The berries of the weed, known as silverleaf nightshade (Solanum elaeagnifolium), can also poison livestock if ingested, according to the Rome-based agency.
The agency is implementing a project to help farmers manage and prevent further spread of silverleaf nightshade in all four countries.