Corn Gluten Meal Research


Dr. Nick Christians


Welcome to the corn gluten meal research page. Here you will find information regarding the use of corn gluten meal as a natural herbicide for use on turf and organic crop production.

Background: It was found that a byproduct of the corn (Zea mays L.) wet-milling process, corn gluten meal, has potential as a natural preemergence herbicide. U.S. Patent 5,030,268 on the use of corn gluten meal as a natural

herbicide was issued in 1991. The patent was reissued in 1993 with broader claims that cover the use of corn gluten meal on field crops and home gardens. Two additional patents were also issued in 1993 on the technology. The first is on the use of hydrolyzed proteins from corn and other grains that were shown to have higher levels of herbicidal activity than the corn gluten meal. These materials are water soluble and can be sprayed on the soils surface. The second patent was on 5 dipeptides extracted from the hydrolyzed corn gluten meal. These dipeptides were shown to have the same type of biological activity observed when the corn gluten meal and the hydrolyzed meal are applied to the soil.

The sprayable materials have been found to be less stable than the corn gluten meal in field studies. Current research is being directed at methods of stabilizing these soluble materials to improve their efficacy.


Corn Gluten Meal Documents: Click on a document below for more information. Most documents are in PDF format. A free PDF viewer may be obtained at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html



How To Use Corn Gluten Meal

Get the Real Thing

Corn gluten meal and corn gluten hydrolysate for weed control, M.S Thesis by Melissa McDade

Site of Action of Corn Gluten Meal, Thesis by Bryan Unruh (PDF file)

Using biological control strategies for turf - Part III: Weeds, Grounds Maintenance

The Use of a Natural Product For the Control of Annual Weeds in Turf

A natural product for the control of annual weeds, Golf Course Management, October, 1993.

The Use of Corn Gluten Meal As A Natural Preemergence Weed Control in Turf, Published as Journal Paper no. J-14957 of the Iowa Agric. and Home Econ. Exp. Stn., Ames. Project No. 2231.

Controlling Turf Weeds With a Natural Product

Herbicidal Activity of Hydrolyzed Corn Gluten Meal on Three Grass Species under Controlled Environments, Journal Paper No. J-15609 of Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station, Ames, IA Project No. 3149

Cherry Valley Club article

Bioactivity of a Pentapeptide Isolated from Corn GlutenHydrolysate on Lolium perenne L., J Plant Growth Regul (1996) 15:13-17.

Isolation and Identification of Root-Inhibiting Compounds from Corn Gluten Hydrolysate, J Plant Growth Regul (1994) 13:227-230.

Patents: 5,290,749; 5,290,757; Re34.594

EPA Exemption from Pesticide Regulation

Greenhouse Screening of Corn Gluten Meal as a Natural Control Product for Broadleaf and Grass Weeds

New York Times: In the Garden

ISU Daily Article

High School Project 1

Corn Gluten Meal Links- go here for links to information about corn gluten meal.


Go to Nick Christians/Faculty Page