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Junglerice [Echinochloa colona (L.) Link] is a problematic weed in the northern grain region of Australia. Two pot experiments (Experiment 1 and Experiment 2) were conducted in a screen house to evaluate the growth and reproductive behavior of two biotypes (A, collected from a cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.)–fallow; B, collected from a fence near a water channel) of E. colona in response to water stress (100%, 75%, 50%, and 25% water holding capacity [WHC]). Averaged across both biotypes, the plant height, biomass, and seed production of E. colona were reduced at 25% WHC compared with 100% WHC. However, E. colona still produced a considerable amount of seeds at 25% WHC (at least 365 seeds plant−1). Biotype A produced more seeds in the second experiment, while biotype B produced more seeds in the first experiment. In Experiment 2, at 100% WHC, biotype A produced more seeds (17,618 seeds plant−1) than biotype B (4,378 seeds plant−1), and similar observations were noticed for root biomass. Growth and seed production of E. colona at all moisture levels and environmental conditions ensure survival in an unpredictable environment and contribute to the weedy nature of this species. Results indicate that biotype A is more invasive than biotype B under favorable environmental conditions (100% WHC). This study suggests an enhanced competitive ability of some biotypes of E. colona in response to a range of environmental and soil moisture conditions in Australia. Under favorable environmental conditions, biotype A could be more problematic, as it has higher seed production than biotype B. Therefore, it is important to implement sustainable weed control methods for such biotypes in the early stages of crop growth to prevent loss of stored moisture.
Glyphosate-resistant junglerice [Echinochloa colona (L.) Link] is a problematic weed in mungbean [Vigna radiata (L.) R. Wilczek] crops in Australia. Due to limited herbicide options in mungbean, there is an increased interest in developing integrated management strategies for the sustainable control of E. colona. Pot experiments were conducted in a screenhouse in 2017 and 2018 by growing E. colona plants (glyphosate-resistant [GR] and glyphosate-susceptible [GS] biotypes) alone (1 plant pot−1) and in competition with 4 and 8 mungbean plants pot−1. Both biotypes were developed from a single population using the clone method. The growth and seed production of both GR and GS biotypes were similar in response to mungbean competition. Averaged over biotypes, there was a reduction in the growth and seed production of E. colona as crop plants increased. Compared with the weed plants grown alone, crop interference reduced E. colona height by 17% to 19%, tiller numbers by 69% to 82%, total shoot biomass by 85% to 91%, and inflorescence numbers by 74% to 91%. When E. colona was grown with 8 mungbean plants pot−1, leaf weight ratio increased by 42% compared with plants grown alone. Compared with weed plants grown alone, mungbean interference (4 and 8 plants pot−1) reduced weed seed production by 85% to 95%. These reductions were similar for both biotypes (GR and GS), suggesting that there was no fitness penalty associated with resistance. The results of this study suggest that mungbean interference can reduce E. colona growth and seed production, but it should not be considered as a stand-alone strategy to manage E. colona and similar species in mungbean. These results also highlight the need for integrating crop competition with other management strategies to achieve complete and sustainable management of this weed.
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