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International Journal of Agronomy
Volume 2012, Article ID 287608, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/287608
Research Article

The Effect of Microwave Radiation on Prickly Paddy Melon (Cucumis myriocarpus)

Melbourne School of Land and Environment, Dookie Campus, University of Melbourne, Nalinga Road, Dookie, VIC 3647, Australia

Received 27 June 2011; Accepted 5 September 2011

Academic Editor: David Clay

Copyright © 2012 Graham Brodie et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The growing list of herbicide-resistant biotypes and environmental concerns about chemical use has prompted interest in alternative methods of managing weeds. This study explored the effect of microwave energy on paddy melon (Cucumis myriocarpus) plants, fruits, and seeds. Microwave treatment killed paddy melon plants and seeds. Stem rupture due to internal steam explosions often occurred after the first few seconds of microwave treatment when a small aperture antenna was used to apply the microwave energy. The half lethal microwave energy dose for plants was 145 J/cm2; however, a dose of at least 422 J/cm2 was needed to kill seeds. This study demonstrated that a strategic burst of intense microwave energy, focused onto the stem of the plant is as effective as applying microwave energy to the whole plant, but uses much less energy.