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Competition between genotypes within a plant population can result in the displacement of the least competitive by more competitive genotypes. Although evolutionary processes in plants may occur over thousands and millions of years, it has been suggested that changes in key fitness traits could occur in as little as decades, with herbicide resistance being a common example. However, the rapid evolution of complex traits has not been proven in weeds. We hypothesized that changes in weed growth and competitive ability can occur in just a few years because of selection in agroecosystems. Seed of multiple generations of a single natural population of the grassy weed giant foxtail (Setaria faberi Herrm.) were collected during 34 yr (i.e., 1983 to 2017). Using a “resurrection” approach, we characterized life-history traits of the different year-lines under noncompetitive and competitive conditions. Replacement-series experiments comparing the growth of the oldest year-line (1983) versus newer year-lines (1991, 1996, 1998, 2009, and 2017) showed that plant competitive ability decreased and then increased progressively in accordance with oscillating selection. The adaptations in competitive ability were reflected in dynamic changes in leaf area and biomass when plants were in competition. The onset of increased competitive ability coincided with the introduction of herbicide-resistant crops in the landscape in 1996. We also conducted a genome-wide association study and identified four loci that were associated with increased competitive ability over time, confirming that this trait changed in response to directional selection. Putative transcription factors and cell wall–associated enzymes were linked to those loci. This is the first study providing direct in situ evidence of rapid directional evolution of competitive ability in a plant species. The results suggest that agricultural systems can exert enough pressure to cause evolutionary adaptations of complex life-history traits, potentially increasing weediness and invasiveness.
Diversity is key for sustainable weed management and can be achieved via both chemical and nonchemical control tactics. Genetically modified crops with two-way or three-way stacked herbicide-tolerant traits allow use of herbicide mixtures that would otherwise be phytotoxic to the crop. Early weed management (EWM) strategies promote the use of PRE herbicides with residual activity to keep the field free of weeds early in the season for successful crop establishment. To evaluate the respective sustainability and practicality of the two chemical-based management tactics (i.e., stacked traits and EWM), we used a population model of waterhemp, Amaranthus tuberculatus (Moq.) Sauer (syn. rudis), to simulate the evolution of resistance in this key weed species in midwestern U.S. soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] agroecosystems. The model tested scenarios with a varying number of herbicide sites of action (SOAs), application timings (PRE and POST), and preexisting levels of resistance. Results showed that both tactics provided opportunity for controlling resistant A. tuberculatus populations. In general, each pass over the field should include at least two effective herbicide SOAs. Nevertheless, the potential evolution of cross-resistance may void the weed control programs embraced by stacked traits and diverse herbicide SOAs. Economic calculations suggested that the diversified programs could double long-term profitability when compared to the conventional system, because of improved yield and grain quality. Ultimately, the essence of a sustainable herbicide resistance management strategy is to be proactive. Although a herbicide-dominated approach to diversifying weed management has been prevalent, the increasing presence of weed populations with multiple resistance means that finding herbicides to which weed populations are still susceptible is becoming increasingly difficult, and thus the importance of reintroducing cultural and mechanical practices to support herbicides must be recognized.
The triazines are one of the most widely used herbicide classes ever developed and are critical for managing weed populations that have developed herbicide resistance. These herbicides are traditionally valued for their residual weed control in more than 50 crops. Scientific literature suggests that atrazine, and perhaps other s-triazines, may no longer remain persistent in soils due to enhanced microbial degradation. Experiments examined the rate of degradation of atrazine and two other triazine herbicides, simazine and metribuzin, in both atrazine-adapted and non-history Corn Belt soils, with similar soils being used from each state as a comparison of potential triazine degradation. In three soils with no history of atrazine use, the t1/2 of atrazine was at least four times greater than in three soils with a history of atrazine use. Simazine degradation in the same three sets of soils was 2.4 to 15 times more rapid in history soils than non-history soils. Metribuzin in history soils degraded at 0.6, 0.9, and 1.9 times the rate seen in the same three non-history soils. These results indicate enhanced degradation of the symmetrical triazine simazine, but not of the asymmetrical triazine metribuzin.
Seven half-day regional listening sessions were held between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide-resistance management. The objective of the listening sessions was to connect with stakeholders and hear their challenges and recommendations for addressing herbicide resistance. The coordinating team hired Strategic Conservation Solutions, LLC, to facilitate all the sessions. They and the coordinating team used in-person meetings, teleconferences, and email to communicate and coordinate the activities leading up to each regional listening session. The agenda was the same across all sessions and included small-group discussions followed by reporting to the full group for discussion. The planning process was the same across all the sessions, although the selection of venue, time of day, and stakeholder participants differed to accommodate the differences among regions. The listening-session format required a great deal of work and flexibility on the part of the coordinating team and regional coordinators. Overall, the participant evaluations from the sessions were positive, with participants expressing appreciation that they were asked for their thoughts on the subject of herbicide resistance. This paper details the methods and processes used to conduct these regional listening sessions and provides an assessment of the strengths and limitations of those processes.
Herbicide resistance is ‘wicked’ in nature; therefore, results of the many educational efforts to encourage diversification of weed control practices in the United States have been mixed. It is clear that we do not sufficiently understand the totality of the grassroots obstacles, concerns, challenges, and specific solutions needed for varied crop production systems. Weed management issues and solutions vary with such variables as management styles, regions, cropping systems, and available or affordable technologies. Therefore, to help the weed science community better understand the needs and ideas of those directly dealing with herbicide resistance, seven half-day regional listening sessions were held across the United States between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide resistance management. The major goals of the sessions were to gain an understanding of stakeholders and their goals and concerns related to herbicide resistance management, to become familiar with regional differences, and to identify decision maker needs to address herbicide resistance. The messages shared by listening-session participants could be summarized by six themes: we need new herbicides; there is no need for more regulation; there is a need for more education, especially for others who were not present; diversity is hard; the agricultural economy makes it difficult to make changes; and we are aware of herbicide resistance but are managing it. The authors concluded that more work is needed to bring a community-wide, interdisciplinary approach to understanding the complexity of managing weeds within the context of the whole farm operation and for communicating the need to address herbicide resistance.
Microsomes (100,000 g pellet containing mixed membrane fractions but primarily endoplasmic reticulum) were isolated from shoots of corn, shattercane, and woolly cupgrass grown from naphthalic anhydride treated or untreated seed to determine if metabolism of bentazon, nicosulfuron, and primisulfuron could be demonstrated in the preparations. Corn is tolerant of all three herbicides, shattercane is tolerant of bentazon, and woolly cupgrass is tolerant of bentazon and primisulfuron. Naphthalic anhydride treatment was required for detectable bentazon, nicosulfuron, and primisulfuron hydroxylation in corn microsomes and for bentazon hydroxylation in woolly cupgrass microsomes. Bentazon hydroxylation was low, but detectable, in microsomes from shattercane shoots without naphthalic anhydride treatment. Naphthalic anhydride-treated corn microsomes hydroxylated 292, 120, and 52 pmol mg−1 protein min−1 of bentazon, nicosulfuron, and primisulfuron, respectively. Primisulfuron (19 pmol mg−1 protein min−1), but not nicosulfuron, was hydroxylated in woolly cupgrass microsomes. Neither nicosulfuron nor primisulfuron was hydroxylated in shattercane microsomes. Bentazon and primisulfuron inhibited nicosulfuron hydroxylation in corn microsomes. Bentazon, but not nicosulfuron, also inhibited primisulfuron hydroxylation in the corn microsomes. This indicates that the three herbicides can interact at the same cytochrome P-450(s) in corn. Primisulfuron hydroxylation was not inhibited by either bentazon or nicosulfuron in woolly cupgrass microsomes. This suggests that the cytochrome P-450(s) for primisulfuron hydroxylation are different between corn and woolly cupgrass. Also, bentazon hydroxylation in corn and shattercane microsomes was inhibited by the cytochrome P-450 inhibitor tetcyclasis, while that in woolly cupgrass was not. Again, this suggests a difference in the cytochrome P-450(s) responsible for bentazon metabolism among the species. Although absolute conclusions comparing in vitro microsomal activities to whole plant herbicide tolerance cannot be made because it is unknown whether the same cytochrome P-450(s) are studied in microsomes from naphthalic anhydride-treated tissue as are responsible for in vivo herbicide metabolism, there was a broad correlation between metabolism of a particular herbicide in microsomes of a species and the species' tolerance of that herbicide.
Field tests showed that the lawn spray-gun with a 4 gpm lawn tip reduced the percentage of application volume deposited 90 cm to 210 cm downwind from the spray swath edge when compared with XR8004 flat-fan or RA-6 wide angle hollow cone applications at wind speeds between 4.7 and 14.4 km/h. The percentage of applied volume collected at 210 cm downwind from the XR8004 flat-fan applications was 5 and 16 times greater than the percentage from the RA-6 Raindrop nozzle and lawn spray-gun applications, respectively. Visible injury alone with height increases and fresh weights from tomato plants located downwind from the applications concur with spray-drift data for all nozzle types. Triclopyr injury decreased as the distance from the swath edge increased. All tomato plants located downwind up to 210 cm from the XR8004 flat-fan applications were visibly injured (15 to 40%); whereas, only plants less than 150 cm downwind from the RA-6 Raindrop applications and less than 90 cm downwind from the lawn spray-gun applications were injured (2 to 8%).
Laboratory studies were conducted to determine the effect of seed coat on woolly cupgrass seed moisture and oxygen uptake, and to determine if water-soluble growth inhibitors are present in the seed. Intact dormant seeds did not respond to any temperature regime or to oxygen concentrations above atmospheric level. Dehulling increased germination of dormant seed to about 85%. Oxygen concentrations above atmospheric level increased germination of partially dehulled (1/4 distal end of the seed dehulled) seeds an additional 10%. Oxygen uptake by dehulled dormant and intact nondormant seeds was greater than intact dormant seeds. Leaching intact dormant seeds did not promote germination, nor did the leachate inhibit germination of nondormant seeds. Embryos excised from dormant seeds germinated under laboratory conditions. Results from this study suggest that the woolly cupgrass seed coat may inhibit germination by controlling oxygen availability to the embryo.
Laboratory and field experiments were conducted to determine the effects of temperature, oxygen, and seed burial depth on woolly cupgrass seed dormancy. Woolly cupgrass seeds at physiological maturity are innately dormant. Stratifying these seeds at 5 C for 8 wk increased germination to greater than 90%, regardless of the germination temperature. Alternating the germination temperature hastened germination by 2 wk, while seedcoat removal hastened germination by another 4 wk. Low oxygen concentration was more detrimental to seed germination when seeds were subjected to constant temperatures in comparison to alternating temperatures. Oxygen concentration did not affect seed germination when seeds were placed in an alternating 15/25 C regime. Seed germination was approximately 15% less when seeds were stratified for 2 wk and subjected to oxygen concentrations below the ambient oxygen concentration, whereas this decrease was present only at the 8% oxygen concentration when seeds were stratified 4 wk. In the field, the stratification requirement was satisfied by early December for the study year. Seeds remaining on the soil surface overcame dormancy sooner than seeds buried 2 or 4 cm.
Research was initiated to determine (a) whether a common waterhemp population was resistant to acetolactate synthase (ALS) inhibiting herbicides, (b) the percentage of the population that was ALS-inhibitor resistant, (c) the resistance mechanism, and (d) the effectiveness of a whole plant assay to detect ALS-inhibitor resistance. ALS-inhibitor resistance was confirmed in a common waterhemp population near Davis City, IA. The Davis City common waterhemp population was cross resistant to both imidazolinone and sulfonylurea herbicides, but not to lactofen. Approximately 10% of the Davis City common waterhemp population was sensitive to a rate of imazaquin 4 times the normal field rate. Davis City common waterhemp isolated ALS was much less sensitive to imazaquin and primisulfuron inhibition than was grain amaranth or an ALS-sensitive common waterhemp isolated ALS. Imazaquin I50 values were 366.4 and 3.4 μM for ALS isolated from Davis City common waterhemp and grain amaranth, respectively. Primisulfuron I50 values were 3.6 and 0.007 μM for ALS isolated from Davis City common waterhemp and grain amaranth, respectively. A whole plant ALS assay was developed that allowed for much more rapid detection of an ALS-resistant species and used less plant material than a conventional ALS assay.
Growth, seed production, and dormancy of velvetleaf in response to shading were evaluated in the field. Velvetleaf plant height, leaf number, number of branches, and plant dry weight decreased linearly with increasing shade. No differences were observed for plant height, number of leaves, or branches/plant when plants were shaded 30% or not shaded throughout the growing season. However, the 76% shade treatment reduced velvetleaf height (1984 only), leaf number, stem branches, and plant dry weight. These reductions were greater in 1984 than 1985 except for plant dry weight that decreased by 88% each year. The number of capsules and the number of seeds/plant decreased linearly with increasing shade levels, while the seed weight increased with increasing shade level. Shading also decreased seed dormancy. These results demonstrate that shade suppresses velvetleaf growth and seed production, and shortens the dormancy of seeds that are produced by these plants.
A field study was established in southern Iowa in 1994 to study seasonal and long-term weed population dynamics on land being brought back into production after 8 yr as part of the conservation reserve program (CRP). The study was a split-plot design with four replications; two tillage regimes, two crop rotations, and three herbicide application methods were used. Even though the tillage regime did not influence individual weed population density throughout the study, the no-till (NT) regime had more weeds compared to conventional tillage (CT). However, when weeds were grouped into categories, tillage influenced broadleaf weeds in 1994 and 1996 and total weeds in 1995. Plots under the NT regime had an average of 46 broadleaf weeds m−2 compared to 27 in CT in 1994, with Amaranthus rudis Sauer (common waterhemp) being the most prevalent. NT had a total of 186 weeds m−2 compared to 125 m−2 weeds in CT in 1995; however, in 1996, CT plots had 184 weeds m−2 compared to 121 m−2 in the NT regime. Except for broadleaf weeds in 1994, crop rotation did not influence the number of weeds, and herbicide application methods had the greatest effect on weed populations. Overall, weed populations were greater in 1997, 1996, and 1995 than in 1994 for all herbicide application methods. The no-herbicide treatment had the highest number of weeds throughout the study. The total number of weeds in band and broadcast treatments averaged 41 and 26 m−2 in 1994; 96 and 24 m−2 in 1995; 96 and 12 m−2 in 1996; and 109 and 95 m−2 in 1997. The use of broadcast herbicides in NT should be recommended for land coming out of CRP. Regardless of the herbicide application method or crop rotation, CT plots had better yields for both Zea mays L. (corn) and Glycine max L. (soybean). Glycine max had a better stand compared to Z. mays in the first year, indicating that a rotation starting with G. max might be preferred in the land coming out of CRP.
Horseweed emergence and survival were evaluated in no-tillage soybean and corn at Rosemount, MN, and Ames, IA, from the fall of 1992 through the summer of 1995. Most of the horseweed at both locations emerged in the fall. Winter survival of fall-emerged seedlings ranged from 59 to 91%. Timing and extent of horseweed emergence in spring varied by year and location. Spring emergence ranged from 5 to 32% of total emergence, with greater spring emergence at Rosemount than at Ames. Emergence occurred as late as early June at Rosemount and late May at Ames. Results indicated that horseweed may emerge well into the growing season, and spring emergence should be considered in weed management systems for no-tillage crop production.
Research was conducted to elucidate mechanism(s) of nicosulfuron and primisulfuron selectivity in corn, woolly cupgrass, and shattercane. Corn absorbed less than one half the nicosulfuron and primisulfuron that woolly cupgrass and shattercane absorbed. Acetolactate synthase (ALS) isolated from three species responded similarly to nicosulfuron and primisulfuron. Values for 50% (I50) inhibition of ALS for nicosulfuron were 36.9, 37.2 and 29.5 nM for corn, woolly cupgrass and shattercane, respectively. Primisulfuron I50 values were 13.8, 11.5 and 10.0 nM for corn, woolly cupgrass and shattercane, respectively. Shattercane's I50 was different from corn's but not from that of woolly cupgrass. Corn rapidly metabolized nicosulfuron and primisulfuron, with a half-life of less than 4 h. Shattercane metabolized the herbicides more slowly, with a half-life greater than 72 h for nicosulfuron and 36 h for primisulfuron. Nicosulfuron and primisulfuron half-lives were greater than 72 h and less than 4 h, respectively, in woolly cupgrass. Therefore, selectivity with nicosulfuron and primisulfuron is likely based on metabolism to nonphytotoxic compounds. Corn tolerance to nicosulfuron and primisulfuron was also attributed to reduced herbicide penetration and translocation below the treated leaf.
Absorption of 14C-bentazon from the leaf surfaces of common cocklebur and velvetleaf was rapid and most occurred within 4 h after foliar application. Greater 14C in the epicuticular wax (ECW) did not correlate with higher radioactivity in the leaf tissue. There was significantly less ECW on the “mature” leaves of common cocklebur and “juvenile” leaves of velvetleaf. However, the “mature” leaves exhibited greater 14C absorption for both species. The use of 28% urea ammonium nitrate increased 14C-absorption when compared with crop oil concentrate and with no adjuvant.
More than 70% of all 14C-bentazon absorption occurred within 4 h after herbicide application regardless of adjuvant Moisture stress reduced 14C-bentazon absorption by common cocklebur and velvetleaf. Mature (second true leaf) and moisture-stressed leaves of velvetleaf had 50 and 17 μg cm−1 more epicuticular wax (ECW) than did juvenile and unstressed leaves, respectively. Common cocklebur had less 14C in the ECW and lower total 14C in treated mature leaves compared to juvenile leaves. The use of 28% urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) or crop oil concentrate (COC) increased 14C in ECW samples of both plant species, regardless of leaf age or moisture stress. More 14C in the ECW did not always correlate with more 14C in the leaf tissue. Adjuvants increased 14C-bentazon absorption into leaves of plants that had been stressed.
The effects of metribuzin herbicide and phorate insecticide were studied on summer harvest chipping-potatoes at Muscatine, IA, from 1989 to 1991. Phorate at 1.5 kg/ha increased total and ‘A’-size tuber yield and tuber specific gravity. Metribuzin applied at 0.56 kg/ha postemergence decreased total and ‘A’-size tuber yield. Metribuzin applied at 0.56 kg/ha preemergence and 0.28 kg/ha postemergence did not reduce Atlantic cultivar yield. Metribuzin did not affect ‘B’-size tuber yield or specific gravity. Phorate in combination with metribuzin did not increase plant injury or reduce tuber yield.
The influence of tillage, crop rotation, and weed management regimes on the weed seedbank in land previously under the conservation reserve program (CRP) for 8 yr was determined from 1994 through 1997. The study was a split-plot design with four replications, two tillage systems, two crop rotations, and three weed management treatments. Eleven weed species were recorded in 1994 and 1995, and 13 in 1996 and 1997. The weed seedbank was dominated by broadleaf species. In 1994, the first year after CRP, the seed population density in the top 15 cm of the soil profile was 51,480 seeds m−2, of which 60 and 20% were pigweed and common lambsquarters. The population density of pigweed seeds in the seedbank increased over time and reached 51,670 seeds m−2 in 1996. In contrast, the seed population density for foxtail species was only 417 seeds m−2 in 1994, but it increased to 7,820 seeds m−2 in 1997. The large increase in foxtail species seed population density in the 4-yr period was mainly in the no-herbicide weed management treatment. The weed seedbank was reduced similarly by band and broadcast herbicide treatments. Tillage and crop rotation did not influence the weed seedbank or Shannon's diversity index, nor did they interact with the weed management treatments in any of the years. The weed seedbank population density varied with the years and time of soil sampling. Weed seed population densities tended to be greater in the fall but declined significantly by time of the spring sampling. The no-herbicide treatment had a more diverse weed seedbank compared with band and broadcast herbicide weed management treatments. An average of one grass and three broadleaf weed species were identified in the three weed management treatments. Band and broadcast herbicide treatments reduced the weed seedbank population density but did not affect the number of broadleaf weed species observed.
Five common cocklebur biotypes from southern Minnesota, central Iowa, southern Iowa, and Ohio were grown at the Iowa State University Curtiss Research Farm in 1995 and 1996 to examine intraspecific variations. Maximum plant heights were measured, and anthesis dates and day of bur set were recorded. At the end of the growing season, all plants were excised at the soil surface and weighed. Common cocklebur biotypes did not differ significantly in height. Flowering date was associated strongly with photoperiod and varied little between years within a biotype. But flowering date and bur set date differed among biotypes. The highest dry matter yields occurred in later flowering biotypes.