In-vitro investigations on ultrasonic control of water chestnut

Mei Yin Wu, J. Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Water chestnut (Trapa natans L.) is native to southern Europe and tropical Africa and Asia and was first introduced into North America in 1874. Since then, wild populations have quickly become established in many locations in the northeastern United States. T. natans is referred to as a noxious aquatic weed since its aggressive growth usually results in complete coverage of the water surface with floating rosettes of leaves. This study investigated the potential of the ultrasonic control of water chestnut since ultrasound has been documented to effectively damage plant cells and tissues. Various frequencies and amplitudes of ultrasound waves generated by submerged transducers were applied directly to water chestnuts. Ultrasound frequencies of 20-kHz, 100-kHz, 500-kHz, 1-MHz, and 2-MHz caused substantial damage to plant cells and penetrated petiole tissues. 20-kHz ultrasound caused the most significant cell damage after 10 seconds of ultrasound exposure. The mortality rate of water chestnut plants treated with ultrasound aimed directly at water chestnut stems was 97% with no seed production. The results of this laboratory study demonstrated that ultrasound caused severe damage and plant death by aiming 20-kHz ultrasound waves directly on water chestnut stems. In the future, development of a high-efficiency multi-transducer device is recommended for a field demonstration. Limited research has been conducted to determine the effects of 20-kHz ultrasound on benthic organisms, fish or wildlife, and therefore additional studies should be conducted to investigate potential impacts of ultrasound on aquatic communities prior to large-scale field application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-83
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Aquatic Plant Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2007


  • Aquatic plants
  • Invasive plant management
  • Noxious weed
  • Trapa natans
  • Ultrasound


Dive into the research topics of 'In-vitro investigations on ultrasonic control of water chestnut'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this