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Whole-Plant and Seed Bioassays for Resistance Confirmation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Nilda R. Burgos
Department of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72704
E-mail address:
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Much of agriculture-related research today involves weed resistance to herbicides. Resistance evolution is perhaps the strongest driver for the quest for new herbicide targets, novel weed intervention technologies, and the promotion of best management practices for sustainable crop production (Burgos et al., 2006; Norsworthy et al. 2012; Vencill et al. 2012). To date, 222 weedy species collectively have evolved resistance to 150 herbicides representing 21 sites of action (Heap 2014). For decades, scientists have developed numerous protocols for resistance confirmation using seeds, different plant parts, or whole plants. These have been reviewed by Beckie et al. (2000) and Burgos et al. (2013). We draw from these and other sources to present general guidelines for resistance confirmation that students and new researchers can use in planning their experiments. The most immediate questions that stakeholders seek to answer with resistance bioassays include:

  1. 1. Is the population resistant?

  2. 2. What is the level of resistance?

  3. 3. What alternative herbicides can be used?

Weed Biology and Ecology
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