Skip to main content Accessibility help

Distribution of Herbicide-Resistant Giant Ragweed (Ambrosia trifida) in Indiana and Characterization of Distinct Glyphosate-Resistant Biotypes

  • Nick T. Harre (a1), Haozhen Nie (a1), Renae R. Robertson (a2), William G. Johnson (a1), Stephen C. Weller (a2) and Bryan G. Young (a1)...


Giant ragweed is a highly competitive weed that continually threatens crop production systems due to evolved resistance to acetolactate synthase–inhibiting herbicides (ALS-R) and glyphosate (GR). Two biotypes of GR giant ragweed exist and are differentiated by their response to glyphosate, termed here as rapid response (RR) and non–rapid response (NRR). A comparison of data from surveys of Indiana crop fields done in 2006 and 2014 showed that GR giant ragweed has spread from 15% to 39% of Indiana counties and the NRR biotype is the most prevalent. A TaqMan® single-nucleotide polymorphism genotyping assay was developed to identify ALS-R populations and revealed 47% of GR populations to be ALS-R as well. The magnitude of glyphosate resistance for NRR populations was 4.6 and 5.9 based on GR50 and LD50 estimates, respectively. For RR populations, these values were 7.8 to 9.2 for GR50 estimates and 19.3 to 22.3 for LD50 estimates. A novel use of the Imaging-PAM fluorometer was developed to discriminate RR plants by assessing photosystem II quantum yield across the entire leaf surface. H2O2 generation in leaves of glyphosate-treated plants was also measured by 3,3′-diaminobenzidine staining and quantified using imagery analysis software. Results show photo-oxidative stress of mature leaves is far greater and occurs more rapidly following glyphosate treatment in RR plants compared with NRR and glyphosate-susceptible plants and is positively associated with glyphosate dose. These results suggest that under continued glyphosate selection pressure, the RR biotype may surpass the NRR biotype as the predominant form of GR giant ragweed in Indiana due to a higher level of glyphosate resistance. Moreover, the differential photo-oxidative stress patterns in response to glyphosate provide evidence of different mechanisms of resistance present in RR and NRR biotypes.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author’s E-mail:


Hide All

Associate Editor for this paper: Franck E. Dayan, Colorado State University.



Hide All
Abul-Fatih, HA, Bazzaz, FA (1979a) The biology of Ambrosia trifida L. I. Influence of species removal on the organization of the plant community. New Phytol 83:813816
Abul-Fatih, HA, Bazzaz, FA (1979b) The biology of Ambrosia trifida L. II. Germination, emergence, growth and survival. New Phytol 83:817827
Archontoulis, SV, Miguez, FE (2015) Nonlinear regression models and applications in agricultural research. Agron J 107:786798
Bassett, IJ, Crompton, CW (1982) The biology of Canadian weeds. 55. Ambrosia trifida L. Can J Plant Sci 62:10031010
Baysinger, JA, Sims, BD (1991) Giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida) interference in soybeans (Glycine max). Weed Sci 39:358362
Brabham, CB, Gerber, CK, Johnson, WG (2011) Fate of glyphosate-resistant giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida) in the presence and absence of glyphosate. Weed Sci 59:506511
Burgos, NR, Tranel, PJ, Streibig, JC, Davis, VM, Shaner, D, Norsworthy, JK, Ritz, C (2013) Review: confirmation of resistance to herbicides and evaluation of resistance levels. Weed Sci 61:420
Davis, VM, Gibson, KD, Johnson, WG (2008) A field survey to determine distribution and frequency of glyphosate-resistant horseweed (Conyza canadensis) in Indiana. Weed Technol 22:331338
Délye, C, Michel, S, Bérard, A, Chauvel, B, Brunel, D, Guillemin, J, Dessaint, F, Le Corre, V (2010) Geographical variation in resistance to acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase-inhibiting herbicides across the range of the arable weed Alopecurus myosuroides (black-grass). New Phytol 186:10051017
Ellis, AT, Steckel, LE, Main, CL, de Melo, MSC, West, DR, Mueller, TC (2010) A survey for diclofop-methyl resistance in Italian ryegrass from Tennessee and how to manage resistance in wheat. Weed Technol 24:303309
Falk, JS, Shoup, DE, Al-Khatib, K, Peterson, DE (2005) Survey of common waterhemp (Amaranthus rudis) response to protox- and ALS-inhibiting herbicides in northeast Kansas. Weed Technol 19:838846
Gibson, KD, Johnson, WG, Hillger, DE (2006) Farmer perceptions of weed problems in corn and soybean rotation systems. Weed Technol 20:751755
Green, AC (2014) Confirmation and Mechanism of Resistance to Glyphosate in Giant Ragweed (Ambrosia trifida) in Ontario. Master’s thesis. Guelph, Ontario: University of Guelph
Heap, I (2017) The International Survey of Herbicide Resistant Weeds. Accessed: March 15, 2017
Johnson, WG, Loux, M, Nordby, D, Sprague, C, Nice, G, Westhoven, A, Stachler, JM (2007) Biology and Management of Giant Ragweed. Glyphosate, Weeds, and Crops Series Bulletin GWC-12. Accessed: September 14, 2016
Kruger, GR, Davis, VM, Weller, SC, Stachler, JM, Loux, MM, Johnson, WG (2009a) Frequency, distribution, and characterization of horseweed (Conyza canadensis) biotypes with resistance to glyphosate and ALS-inhibiting herbicides. Weed Sci 57:652659
Kruger, GR, Johnson, WG, Weller, SC, Owen, MDK, Shaw, DR, Wilcut, JW, Jordan, DL, Wilson, RG, Bernards, ML, Young, BG (2009b) U.S. grower views on problematic weeds and changes in weed pressure in glyphosate-resistant corn, cotton, and soybean cropping systems. Weed Technol 23:162166
Makra, L, Juhász, M, Béczi, R, Borsos, E (2005) The history and impacts of airborne Ambrosia (Asteraceae) pollen in Hungary. Grana 44:5764
Marion, S, Davis, V, Stoltenberg, DE (2017) Characterization of Wisconsin giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida) resistant to cloransulam. Weed Sci 65:4451
Maxwell, K, Johnson, GN (2000) Chlorophyll fluorescence—a practical guide. J Exp Bot 51:659668
Moechnig, MJ (2003) A Mechanistic Approach to Predict Weed-Corn Growth Interactions. Ph.D dissertation. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin
Moretti, ML, Van Horn, CR, Robertson, RR, Segobye, K, Weller, SC, Young, BG, Johnson, WG, Sammons, RD, Wang, D, Ge, X, d’Avignon, A, Gaines, TA, Westra, P, Green, AC, Jeffery, T, Lesperance, MA, Tardif, FJ, Sikkema, PH, Hall, C, McLean, MD, Lawton, MB, Schulz, B (2017) Glyphosate resistance in Ambrosia trifida: II. Rapid response physiology and non-target site resistance. Pest Manag Sci DOI: 10.1002/ps.4569
Murchie, EH, Lawson, T (2013) Chlorophyll fluorescence analysis: a guide to good practice and understanding some new applications. J Exp Bot 64:39833998
Nandula, VK, Wright, AA, Van Horn, CR, Molin, WT, Westra, P, Reddy, KN (2015) Glyphosate resistance in giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida L.) from Mississippi is partly due to reduced translocation. Am J Plant Sci 6:21042113
Norsworthy, JK, Jha, P, Steckel, LE, Scott, RC (2010) Confirmation and control of glyphosate-resistant giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida) in Tennessee. Weed Technol 24:6470
Norsworthy, JK, Riar, D, Jha, P, Scott, RC (2011) Confirmation, control, and physiology of glyphosate-resistant giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida) in Arkansas. Weed Technol 25:430435
Patzoldt, WL, Tranel, PJ (2002) Molecular analysis of cloransulam resistance in a population of giant ragweed. Weed Sci 50:299305
Regnier, EE, Harrison, SK, Loux, MM, Holloman, C, Venkatesh, R, Diekmann, F, Taylor, R, Ford, RA, Stoltenberg, DE, Hartzler, RG, Davis, AS, Schutte, BJ, Cardina, J, Mahoney, KJ, Johnson, WG (2016) Certified crop advisors’ perceptions of giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida) distribution, herbicide resistance, and management in the Corn Belt. Weed Sci 64:361377
Saghai-Maroof, MA, Soliman, KM, Jorgensen, RA, Allard, RW (1984) Ribosomal DNA spacer length polymorphisms in barley: Mendelian inheritance, chromosomal location, and population dynamics. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 81:80148018
Schafer, JR, Hallett, SG, Johnson, WG (2012) Response of giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida), horseweed (Conyza canadensis), and common lambsquarters (Chenopodium album) biotypes to glyphosate in the presence and absence of soil microorganisms. Weed Sci 60:641649
Schutte, BJ (2007) Biology and Ecology of Ambrosia trifida L. Seedling Emergence. Ph.D dissertation. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University
Seefeldt, SS, Jensen, JE, Fuerst, EP (1995) Log-logistic analysis of herbicide dose-response relationships. Weed Technol 9:218227
Segobye, K (2013) Biology and Ecology of Glyphosate-Resistant Giant Ragweed (Ambrosia trifida L.). Master’s thesis. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University
Stachler, JM (2008) Characterization and Management of Glyphosate-Resistant Giant Ragweed (Ambrosia trifida L.) and Horseweed [Conyza canadensis (L.) Cronq.]. Ph.D dissertation. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University
Thordal-Christensen, H, Zhang, ZG, Wei, YD, Collinge, DB (1997) Subcellular localization of H2O2 in plants. H2O2 accumulation in papillae and hypersensitive response during the barley-powdery mildew interaction. Plant J 11:11871194
Tranel, PJ, Wright, TR (2002) Resistance of weeds to ALS-inhibiting herbicides: what have we learned? Weed Sci 50:700712
Van Acker, RC, Swanton, CJ, Weise, SF (1993) The critical period of weed control in soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.]. Weed Sci 41:194200
Van Horn, CR, Moretti, ML, Robertson, RR, Segobye, K, Weller, SC, Young, BG, Johnson, WG, Schulz, B, Green, AC, Jeffery, T, Lesperance, MA, Tardif, FJ, Sikkema, PH, Hall, C, McLean, MD, Lawton, MB, Sammons, RD, Wang, D, Westra, P, Gaines, TA (2017) Glyphosate resistance in Ambrosia trifida: I. Novel rapid cell death response to glyphosate. Pest Manag Sci DOI: 10.1002/ps.4567
Vink, JP, Soltani, N, Robinson, DE, Tardif, FJ, Lawton, MB, Sikkema, PH (2012) Occurrence and distribution of glyphosate-resistant giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida L.) in southwestern Ontario. Can J Plant Sci 92:533539
Warwick, SI, Sauder, CA, Beckie, HJ (2010) Acetolactate synthase (ALS) target-site mutations in ALS inhibitor-resistant Russian thistle (Salsola tragus). Weed Sci 58:244251
Warwick, SI, Xu, R, Sauder, C, Beckie, HJ (2008) Acetolactate synthase target-site mutations and single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping in ALS-resistant kochia (Kochia scoparia). Weed Sci 56:797806
Webster, TM, Loux, MM, Regnier, EE, Harrison, SK (1994) Giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida) canopy architecture and interference studies in soybean (Glycine max). Weed Technol 8:559564
Westhoven, AM, Davis, VM, Gibson, KD, Weller, SC, Johnson, WG (2008) Field presence of glyphosate-resistant horseweed (Conyza canadensis), common lambsquarters (Chenopodium album), and giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida) biotypes with elevated tolerance to glyphosate. Weed Technol 22:544548


Distribution of Herbicide-Resistant Giant Ragweed (Ambrosia trifida) in Indiana and Characterization of Distinct Glyphosate-Resistant Biotypes

  • Nick T. Harre (a1), Haozhen Nie (a1), Renae R. Robertson (a2), William G. Johnson (a1), Stephen C. Weller (a2) and Bryan G. Young (a1)...


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed