Skip to main content Accessibility help

A Waterhemp (Amaranthus tuberculatus) Population Resistant to 2,4-D

  • Mark L. Bernards (a1), Roberto J. Crespo (a1), Greg R. Kruger (a2), Roch Gaussoin (a1) and Patrick J. Tranel (a3)...


A waterhemp population from a native-grass seed production field in Nebraska was no longer effectively controlled by 2,4-D. Seed was collected from the site, and dose-response studies were conducted to determine if this population was herbicide resistant. In the greenhouse, plants from the putative resistant and a susceptible waterhemp population were treated with 0, 18, 35, 70, 140, 280, 560, 1,120, or 2,240 g ae ha−1 2,4-D. Visual injury estimates (I) were made 28 d after treatment (DAT), and plants were harvested and dry weights (GR) measured. The putative resistant population was approximately 10-fold more resistant to 2,4-D (R:S ratio) than the susceptible population based on both I50 (50% visual injury) and GR50 (50% reduction in dry weight) values. The R:S ratio increased to 19 and 111 as the data were extrapolated to I90 and GR90 estimates, respectively. GR50 doses of 995 g ha−1 for the resistant and 109 g ha−1 for the susceptible populations were estimated. A field dose-response study was conducted at the suspected resistant site with 2,4-D doses of 0, 140, 280, 560, 1,120, 2,240, 4,480, 8,960, 17,920, and 35,840 g ha−1. At 28 DAT, visual injury estimates were 44% in plots treated with 35,840 g ha−1. Some plants treated with the highest rate recovered and produced seed. Plants from the resistant and susceptible populations were also treated with 0, 9, 18, 35, 70, 140, 280, 560, or 1,120 g ae ha−1 dicamba in greenhouse bioassays. The 2,4-D resistant population was threefold less sensitive to dicamba based on I50 estimates but less than twofold less sensitive based on GR50 estimates. The synthetic auxins are the sixth mechanism-of-action herbicide group to which waterhemp has evolved resistance.


Corresponding author

Corresponding author's E-mail:


Hide All
Behrens, M. R., Mutlu, N., Chakraborty, S., Dumitru, R., Jiang, W. Z., LaVallee, B. J., Herman, P. L., Clemente, T. E., and Weeks, D. P. 2007. Dicamba resistance: enlarging and preserving biotechnology-based weed management strategies. Science. 316:11851188.
Bernards, M. L., Gaussoin, R. E., Klein, R. N., et al. 2011. Guide for Weed Management in Nebraska. Lincoln, NE University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension EC130. 258 p.
Bonner, K. I., Rahman, A., James, T., Nicholson, K., and Wardle, D. 1998. Relative intra-species competitive ability of nodding thistle biotypes with varying resistance to the herbicide 2,4-D. New Zealand J. Agric. Res. 41:291297.
Burke, I. C., Yenish, J. P., Pittman, D., and Gallagher, R. S. 2009. Resistance of a prickly lettuce (Lactuca serriola) biotype to 2,4-D. Weed Technol. 23:586591.
Burnside, O. C. 1996. The history of 2,4-D and its impact on development of the discipline of weed science in the United States. Pages 516 in Burnside, O. C., ed. Biologic and economic assessment of benefits from use of phenoxy herbicides in the United States. Washington, DC U.S. Department of Agriculture NAPIAP Rep. 1-PA-96.
Costea, M., Weaver, S. E., and Tardif, F. J. 2005. The biology of invasive alien plants in Canada. 3. Amaranthus tuberculatus (Moq.) Sauer var. rudis (Sauer) Costea & Tardif. Can. J. Plant Sci. 85:507522.
Gustafson, D. I. 2008. Sustainable use of glyphosate in North American cropping systems. Pest Manag. Sci. 64:409416.
Hausman, N. E., Singh, S., Tranel, P. J., Riechers, D. E., Kaundun, S. S., Polge, N. D., Thomas, D. A., and Hager, A. G. 2011. Resistance to HPPD-inhibiting herbicides in a population of waterhemp (Amaranthus tuberculatus) from Illinois, United States. Pest Manag. Sci. 67:258261.
Heap, I. 2011. International Survey of Herbicide Resistant Weeds. Accessed August 15, 2011.
Heap, I. M. and Morrison, I. N. 1992. Resistance to auxin-type herbicides in wild mustard (Sinapsis arvensis L.) populations in western Canada. Annu. Meet. Weed Sci. Soc. Amer. Abstr. 32:164.
James, T. K., Rahman, A., Sanders, P., Cliffe, A., and Popay, A. J. 1995. Response of different nodding thistle (Carduus nutans) populations to herbicides. Proc. New Zealand Plant Protect. Conf. 48:252255.
Knezevic, S. Z., Streibig, J. C., and Ritz, C. 2007. Utilizing R software package for dose-response studies: the concept and data analysis. Weed Technol. 21:840848. Loux, M. M., D. Doohan, A. F. Dobbels, W. G. Johnson, G.R.W. Nice, T. N. Jordan, and T. T. Bauman. 2011. Weed Control Guide for Ohio and Indiana. Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University Extension Bulletin 789. 194 p.
McMullan, P. M. and Green, J. M. 2011. Identification of a tall waterhemp (Amaranthus tuberculatus) biotype resistant to HPPD-inhibiting herbicides, atrazine, and thifensulfuron in Iowa. Weed Technol. 25:514518.
Mithila, J., Hall, J. C., Johnson, W. G., Kelley, K. B., and Riechers, D. E. 2011. Evolution of resistance to auxinic herbicides: historical perspectives, mechanisms of resistance, and implications for broadleaf weed management in agronomic crops. Weed Science. 59:445457.
Spandle, E. 2011. Crop Protection Guide. St. Paul, MN Winfield Solutions. 760 p.
Stachler, J. M., Kells, J. J., and Penner, D. 2000. Resistance of wild carrot (Daucus carota) to 2,4-D in Michigan. Weed Technol. 14:734739.
Steckel, L. E. 2007. The dioecious Amaranthus spp.: here to stay. Weed Technol. 21:567570.
Switzer, C. M. 1957. The existence of 2,4-D-resistant strains of wild carrot. Proc. Northeast. Weed Control Conf. 11:315318.
Thornsbrough, M., Ruppert, L., Schoettmer, M., Brown, H., Black, K., and Bunting, J. 2010. FS Crop Protection Handbook. Bloomington, IL Growmark. 385 p.
Tranel, P. J., Riggins, C. W., Bell, M. S., and Hager, A. G. 2011. Herbicide resistance in Amaranthus tuberculatus: a call for new options. Pest Manag. Sci. 59:58085812.
Tranel, P. J. and Trucco, F. 2009. 21st-century weed science: a call for Amaranthus genomics. Pp. 5381 in Stewart, C. N. Jr., ed. Weedy and Invasive Plant Genomics. Ames, IA Blackwell.
Walsh, M. J., Powles, S. B., Beard, B. R., Parkin, B. T., and Porter, S. A. 2004. Multiple-herbicide resistance across four modes of action in wild radish (Raphanus raphanistrum). Weed Sci. 52:813.
Watanabe, H., Ismail, Z., and Ho, N-K. 1997. Response of 2,4-D resistant biotype of Fimbristylis miliacea (L.) Vahl. to 2,4-D dimethylamine and its distribution in the Muda Plain, Peninsular Malaysia. J. Weed Sci. Technol. 42:240249.
Wright, T. R., Shan, G., Walsh, T. A., et al. 2010. Robust crop resistance to broadleaf and grass herbicides provided by aryloxyalkanoate dioxygenase transgenes. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 107:2024020245.


A Waterhemp (Amaranthus tuberculatus) Population Resistant to 2,4-D

  • Mark L. Bernards (a1), Roberto J. Crespo (a1), Greg R. Kruger (a2), Roch Gaussoin (a1) and Patrick J. Tranel (a3)...


Altmetric attention score

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