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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: WEED BIOLOGY AND ECOLOGY, AND DEVELOPMENT OF SUSTAINABLE INTEGRATED WEED MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS FOR COTTON, SOYBEAN, CORN

Location: Crop Production Systems Research Unit

2006 Annual Report


1.What major problem or issue is being resolved and how are you resolving it (summarize project aims and objectives)? How serious is the problem? Why does it matter?
The Mississippi Delta is a major cotton, soybean, and corn producing region. Long growing season, relatively high rainfall, and fertile soils provide an excellent growth environment conducive for establishment of a wide array of native and non-native weed species which in turn requires intense weed control tactics by farmers. Profit margins have declined in recent years due to increasing production costs, especially for fuel and fertilizer. Weed management is one of the most costly production practices in modern agriculture. One way to reduce weed management costs is to reduce herbicide inputs. Invasive plant species cost the U.S. in excess of $35 billion annually. Sustainable integrated weed management systems need to be developed by implementing combinations of conservation tillage, cover crops, crop rotation, narrow row spacing, competitive cultivars, and herbicide-resistant crops to exploit the benefits of each practice to maximize weed control and minimize inputs. Knowledge of the biological and ecological characteristics of weed species is critical in designing effective and economical weed management strategies. Comprehensive knowledge of reproductive biology, both sexual and asexual, is lacking for the majority of important weed species. Knowledge of the mechanisms and pathways that regulate seed production, dormancy, seed bank dynamics, growth from vegetative propagules, and vectors and pathways of dispersal is needed. Basic understanding of seed germination, seedling emergence, growth patterns, weed competitiveness, leaf morphology, and nature of herbicide absorption, translocation, and metabolism in weed species is essential to determine the most vulnerable growth stages to devise effective and economical control strategies.

Several transgenic crops resistant to bromoxynil, glufosinate, and glyphosate were commercialized in the mid 1990s. However, the most successful transgenic crops (corn, cotton, and soybean) are resistant to glyphosate. Consequently, the proportion of herbicide use has shifted heavily towards glyphosate. Long-term impact of dependence on "only one herbicide" approach on shifts in weed species and selection of resistant weed populations must be addressed. Current knowledge is inadequate to address the impact of shifts in weed control technologies on the efficacy of weed control and long-term outcomes on weed populations and species shifts, and development of herbicide resistance. The problem of more weed biotypes developing resistance is expected to increase as the number of herbicides used is decreased due to increased adoption of transgenic crops resistant to glyphosate without proper rotation. Already the appearance of resistant biotypes to glyphosate heralds this problem on a global scale. No information on these biotypes has been generated nor their mechanisms for resistance.

This research contributes to weed biology and ecology component as well as weed management systems component of the National Program 304 – Crop Protection and Quarantine. This project will result in basic understanding of biological and ecological changes in weed species which will be used to develop and/or refine weed management systems in agricultural production.

This research will generate critical knowledge on the traits that lead to weediness and devise effective control measures for a number of pernicious, noxious, and invasive weeds. Farmers will benefit from efficient, economical, and environmentally safe integrated weed management systems that promote sustainable farm operations and improve farm incomes. Provide alternative strategies to control herbicide resistant weed biotypes and delay and/or prevent future occurrence. Assess the risks associated with herbicide-resistant cropping systems. Increased adoption of reduced tillage systems will decrease herbicide movement from farmlands. The public will benefit from the reduced herbicide usage and a cleaner environment.


2.List by year the currently approved milestones (indicators of research progress)
Year 1 (FY 2005) 1. Collect purple nutsedge biotypes from across the U.S. and complete greenhouse and field evaluation of competitive interactions with cotton.

2. Collect johnsongrass biotypes and initiate metabolism studies to determine whether biotypes have developed a greater capacity to metabolize triazine and chloroacetamide herbicides.

3. Continue 4th year study on long-term impact of glyphosate-based weed management systems in cotton, corn, and soybean.

4. Develop leaf-disc assay and rapid, non-destructive assay for screening horseweed populations for potential resistance to glyphosate. Characterize multiple glyphosate-resistant horseweed biotypes in Mississippi and Arkansas.

5. Complete investigation of mechanism of glyphosate resistance in horseweed.

Year 2 (FY 2006) 1. Complete dose-response to photosystem II herbicides in malvaceous weeds that contribute to their survival when PSII herbicides are used.

2. Continue metabolism studies to determine whether johnsongrass biotypes have developed a greater capacity to metabolize triazine and chloroacetamide herbicides.

3. Complete 5th year study on long-term impact of glyphosate-based weed management systems in cotton, corn, and soybean. Collect soil samples and determine weed seed bank.

4. Complete a 6-yr cotton/corn rotation study and document the benefits of rotation.

5. Complete the study on repeated use of glyphosate in cover crop and no-tillage based glyphosate-resistant soybean production on yield, microbial ecology, and soybean pathogens.

6. Initiate greenhouse and 15N studies to determine effect of glyphosate on N2-fixation and N assimilation in glyphosate-resistant soybean.

Year 3 (FY 2007) 1. Complete biochemical assays using photosystem II herbicides in malvaceous weeds.

2. Complete field evaluation, isozyme, and RAPD analysis and determine sesquiterpenes in purple nutsedge and their mechanisms of action on cotton.

3. Identify the mechanisms of detoxification of chloroacetamide and triazine herbicides.

4. Determine the causes for variability in growth, spread, and control of cogongrass.

5. Determine best weed management practices to reduce weed population and species shift in tillage and cover crop based glyphosate-resistant cotton.

6. Determine best winter weed management strategy for horseweed control.

7. Describe benefits of early planting cotton on weed management practices.

8. Complete studies to determine the role of AMPA in tolerance to glyphosate in other leguminous species.

Year 4 (FY 2008) 1. Complete studies on the mechanisms of detoxification of chloroacetamide and triazine herbicides in johnsongrass.

2. Complete kinetic analysis of EPSPS in glyphosate-resistant horseweed.

3. Complete glyphosate-resistant corn and glufosinate-resistant corn rotation study and document the benefits.

Year 5 (FY 2009) 1. Determine biochemical mechanisms of tolerance to PSII inhibitors in malvaceous weeds.

2. Determine sesquiterpenes in purple nutsedge and their mechanisms of action on cotton.

3. Determine the causes for variability in growth, spread, and control of pitted morningglory.

4. Complete glyphosate-resistant cotton and glufosinate-resistant cotton rotation study and document the benefits.

5. Determine if glyphosate is affecting N2-fixation and or N assimilation in glyphosate-resistant soybean.


4a.List the single most significant research accomplishment during FY 2006.
Redvine and trumpetcreeper are perennial deep-rooted vines found extensively in crop and noncrop lands in the lower Mississippi Delta region. Because glyphosate alone can not provide complete control of these weeds, additional management tactics are needed. Scientist at the Southern Weed Science Research Unit (SWSRU) in Stoneville, MS, completed a 4-yr field study to determine the effectiveness of fall deep tillage and glyphosate on redvine and trumpetcreeper populations and soybean yield. Fall deep (~45 cm) tillage reduced redvine density compared with shallow (~15 cm) tillage, but deep tillage did not reduce trumpetcreeper density. Glyphosate applied preplant and in-crop postemergence reduced trumpetcreeper density, but not redvine compared with no glyphosate. Soybean yields were higher with deep tillage vs. shallow tillage. These results demonstrated that integration of fall deep tillage and glyphosate applications could be an effective strategy to manage these vines in glyphosate-resistant soybean.


4b.List other significant research accomplishment(s), if any.
Scientist at Southern Weed Science Research Unit conducted a study to determine weed control benefits of rye cover crop. Rye cover crop promoted growth and establishment of browntop millet in cotton. It is not clear whether the rye acted as a barrier to herbicide treatment resulting in less herbicide availability to damage the browntop millet. Browntop millet can pose a serious threat to cotton because stems and leaves contaminate cotton fiber and reduce cotton quality. These results show that each component of a crop management scenario must be evaluated completely in order to establish its contribution, whether negative or positive, to crop production. In this case, cover crops can provide negative results on weed populations and have detrimental consequences in crops such as cotton.

Scientist at Southern Weed Science Research Unit conducted studies to determine if purple nutsedge biotypes have different sensitivities to glyphosate. The California biotype was most tolerant and the North Carolina and Georgia biotypes were most sensitive. There were several biotypes with intermediate sensitivity to glyphosate. The results show that control is influenced by genetic factors which differ between biotypes. Cotton sensitivity to purple nutsedge tuber and root homogenates indicated that homogenates from the Arizona biotype caused more injury in the form of stunting and chlorosis than the other biotypes. This is further indication that the biotypes have different properties.

Cogongrass is an invasive weed found in the southeastern US. Scientists at Southern Weed Science Research Unit conducted studies to determine the effect of temperature on the viability of rhizomes. Cogongrass rhizomes can be killed by exposure to temperatures above 150 C for 2 min. These studies were initiated to determine if highway construction and maintenance departments and industries could use asphalt furnaces to heat kill cogongrass. Corn and cotton seed are frequently contaminated with aflatoxins and fumonisins produced by toxigenic fungi, making them unfit for human and animal consumption. Scientists at Southern Weed Science Research Unit, Crop Genetics and Production Research Unit (CG&PRU), and Southern Insect Management Research Unit (SIMRU), Stoneville, MS have examined the effects simple agronomic practices such as crop rotation and selection glyphosate-resistant cultivars on Aspergillus flavus populations in soil and aflatoxin and fumonisin in corn and cotton seed in a 6-yr field study. A. flavus populations in surface soil were not affected by cotton-corn rotation systems. In cotton seed, aflatoxin and fumonisin levels were similar regardless of rotation and glyphosate. In corn grain, aflatoxin was above the regulatory level (20 ppb) only in GR cultivar in 1 of 4 years. Fumonisin was higher in non-GR cultivar (4 ppm) regardless of rotation in 2004. These results indicate the potential for increased aflatoxin levels (1 of 4 years) in corn.

Cotton growers across the southeastern US routinely mix glyphosate and MSMA as a post-directed application in cotton, and sometimes observe reduced weed control due to antagonism. Scientists at the Southern Weed Science Research Unit, Crop Genetics and Production Unit, Stoneville, MS, and North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, examined the causes for reduction in browntop millet and Palmer amaranth control by glyphosate applied with MSMA. Glyphosate has to be absorbed and translocated within the plant to be effective. Glyphosate absorption was similar but its translocation was reduced when glyphosate was applied with MSMA in both species. These results indicate that reduced translocation to be the cause of the observed antagonism of glyphosate by MSMA.


4c.List significant activities that support special target populations.
None.


4d.Progress report.
None.


5.Describe the major accomplishments to date and their predicted or actual impact.
Redvine and trumpetcreeper are perennial deep-rooted vines found extensively in crop and noncrop lands in the lower Mississippi Delta region. Glyphosate is most effective on these vines than most other herbicides which desiccate only foliage, temporarily. However, glyphosate alone can not provide complete control of these weeds, and additional management tactics are needed. Our studies have shown that integration of fall deep tillage and glyphosate could be an effective strategy to reduce densities of these vines. Glyphosate-resistant horseweed was documented in Mississippi. Resistant biotypes were 8- to 11-fold more tolerant to glyphosate than susceptible biotypes. Absorption and translocation studies on these biotypes indicated the basis of resistance is related to reduced translocation of glyphosate. Glyphosate-resistant (GR) soybean is the most successful transgenic crop in the world that provided formers the flexibility to manage weeds. However, application of glyphosate to GR soybean results in injury under certain conditions. If GR soybean is completely resistant to glyphosate, then injury could be caused by a metabolite of glyphosate, aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), a known phytotoxin. Our studies have shown that injury in GR soybean was caused by AMPA formed from glyphosate metabolism. Bromoxynil can provide good control of various morningglory species in bromoxynil-resistant cotton, but it has limitations for control of pigweeds, spurges, prickly sida, sicklepod, hemp sesbania and no activity on grasses and sedges compared to glyphosate in glyphosate-resistant cotton. Thus the transgenic cotton system based on bromoxynil appears to be less efficacious than the glyphosate based system. Bromoxynil-resistnat cotton was discontinued in 2004. Transgenic cotton planted in ultra narrow rows was shown to have nutrient requirements, yields, and quality similar to wide row cotton in the Mississippi Delta. In transgenic ultra-narrow row cotton, two applications of glyphosate were superior to the conventional preemergence herbicides followed by postemergence herbicides in reducing nutsedge populations. Similarly, in soybean, glyphosate alone program was as effective as preemergence herbicides followed by glyphosate program for control of several weeds. However, relying solely on postemergence herbicides in transgenic crops for complete season-long weed control involves risks, and the window of weed control can be widened with preemergence herbicides. Tillage is an important component of weed control programs because it reduces the population of weed seed that requires light for germination. It compliments herbicide based weed control programs. Ultra narrow row cotton rotation with wheat resulted in a delay in cotton stand establishment three years in a row. The delay in timely planting of ultra narrow row cotton behind wheat and slow stand establishment may indicate that an ultra narrow row cotton-wheat double crop is not best suited for the Mississippi Delta. Ultra-narrow row cotton and narrow row soybean closed canopy faster than wide rows and suppressed weed germination and establishment. Morningglory species are troublesome weeds in row crops. Some are hairy and others are smooth. Two- to four-leaf stage plants were highly susceptible but the five- to eight-leaf stage plants were less susceptible and control was herbicide specific. Control of pitted morningglory with glyphosate is related to herbicide rate and plant size, and not to degree of spray coverage of leaf surface. MT-101 may be a potential herbicide for hemp sesbania control in rice. Research on spurred anoda competition in cotton has shown that it exert competitive effects on cotton differently in narrow row and wide row systems. Cogongrass contains chemicals that inhibit growth of other plant species such as bermudagrass, ryegrass, and prickly sida. These chemicals may contribute to its invasiveness and extreme competitiveness.


6.What science and/or technologies have been transferred and to whom? When is the science and/or technology likely to become available to the end-user (industry, farmer, other scientists)? What are the constraints, if known, to the adoption and durability of the technology products?
Scientists participated and made poster presentations at Agronomic Crops Field Day hosted by Delta Research and Extension Center, Stoneville. Scientists made presentations and contacts at annual meetings of Mississippi Weed Science Society, Southern Weed Science Society, Weed Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, and 28th Annual Southern Conservation Systems Conference. Scientists gave talks at several growers meetings and extension agent/crop consultant training meetings on glyphosate resistant horseweed. Two scientists served on several graduate student committees at Mississippi State University and Clemson University. One scientist collaborated with Mississippi State University scientists to determine weed detection capabilities in soybean with remote sensing. Research results are disseminated through refereed journals articles. Collaborative research studies such as impact of tillage and glyphosate in soybean monoculture and problem weed management (redvine and trumpetcreeper control) studies in glyphosate-resistant soybean were conducted on farmer’s field. We have demonstrated that MT-101 may be a potential herbicide for hemp sesbania control in rice and that glyphosate-based weed control programs in ultra narrow row cotton reduce weed populations to very low levels. Research on spurred anoda competition in cotton has shown that weeds exert competitive effects on cotton differently in narrow row and wide row systems. Also, use of residual soil-applied herbicides is critical to reduce detrimental early-season weed interference and to improve efficacy of bromoxynil- or glyphosate-based postemergence programs in ultra narrow row cotton. Adoption of twin row cotton technology requires slight modification of equipment commonly found on farms. Cover crops alone can not provide total weed control in soybean. Adoption of cover crop-based production systems by soybean farmers is less likely due to additional cost of cover crops. Rye cover crop was less effective in suppressing grass weeds and had detrimental consequences in cotton; hence adoption by cotton farmers is unlikely.


7.List your most important publications in the popular press and presentations to organizations and articles written about your work. (NOTE: List your peer reviewed publications below).
Bryson, C.T. and J.E. Hanks. 2006. Weed populations in conventional and conservation tillage cotton and soybean systems. Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Experiment Station Research Report. 23(18):1-5.

Molin, W.T. 2006. Contributions of tillage, rye cover crop and herbicide programs to weed control in glyphosate-tolerant cotton. 28th Annual Southern Conservation Systems Conference. Amarillo, TX 26-28 June, 2006, pp. 171-173.

Heatherly, L. G., S. R. Spurlock, and K. N. Reddy. 2005. Weed management in nonirrigated glyphosate-resistant and non-resistant soybean following deep and shallow fall tillage. AgProfessional, November 2005. Pages 56-60.

Bryson, C. T., K. N. Reddy, and I. C. Burke. 2006. Differential morphology of pitted morningglory populations from southern U.S. Weed Science Society of America Abstracts. 46:5.

Bryson, C. T., I. C. Burke, and K. N. Reddy. 2006. Macro-morphological analysis of pitted morningglory populations from eight southern states. Proc. Southern Weed Science Society. 59:134.

Burke, I. C., C. H. Koger, K. N. Reddy, and J. W. Wilcut. 2006. MSMA antagonizes glyphosate by reducing its translocation in Palmer amaranth. Weed Science Society of America Abstracts. 46:39.

Burke, I. C., K. N. Reddy, and C. T. Bryson. 2006. The response of pitted morningglory biotypes and weedy relatives from southern states to glyphosate. Proc. Southern Weed Science Society. 59:59.

Eubank, T. W., V. K. Nandula, D. H. Poston, C. H. Koger, and K. N. Reddy. 2006. Factors affecting germination of horseweed. Weed Science Society of America Abstracts. 46:25.

Bryson, C. T., R. Carter, and D. J. Rosen. 2006. Dispersal, biology, and control of deeprooted sedge. Proc. Southern Weed Science Society. 59:253.

Carter, R., C. T. Bryson, and D. J. Rosen. 2006. Invasive sedges: impending problems. Proc. Southern Weed Science Society. 59:254.

Rosen, D. J., R. Carter, and C. T. Bryson. 2006. The potential for spread of Cyperus entrerianus (Cyperaceae) into native habitats in the southeastern United States. Proc. Southern Weed Science Society. 59:252.

Nandula, V. K., T. W. Eubank, D. H. Poston, C. H. Koger, and K. N. Reddy. 2006. Investigations into suspected resistance of Italian ryegrass to glyphosate in Mississippi. Proc. Southern Weed Science Society. 59:172.

Nandula, V. K., D. H. Poston, C. H. Koger, and K. N. Reddy. 2006. Growth comparison of glyphosate-resistant and susceptible horseweed biotypes from Mississippi. Weed Science Society of America Abstracts. 46:26.

Nandula, V. K., D. H. Poston, K. N. Reddy, and C. H. Koger. 2006. Absorption and translocation of 14C-clethodim in wheat, bermudagrass, and glyphosate-resistant corn. Weed Science Society of America Abstracts. 46:38.

Reddy, K. N., M. A. Locke, C. H. Koger, R. M. Zablotowicz, L. J. Krutz. 2006. Conventional and glyphosate-resistant cotton-corn rotation under reduced tillage: impact on soil properties, weed control, and yield. Weed Science Society of America Abstracts. 46:46-47.

Sanyal, D., P. C. Bhowmik, and K. N. Reddy. 2006. Effect of leaf characteristics of green foxtail and barnyardgrass on primisulfuron droplet spread. Weed Science Society of America Abstracts. 46:83.

Naczi, R. F. C., B. A. Ford, and C. T. Bryson. 2006. Revision of Carex digitalis (Cypreaceae), a common sedge of North America. American Society of Plant Taxonomists. Abstract No. 547.


Review Publications
Nandula, V.K., Reddy, K.N., Duke, S.O., Poston, D.H. 2005. Glyphosate-resistant weeds: current status and future outlook. Outlooks on Pest Management, August 2005, pp. 183-187..

Reddy, K.N., Bryson, C.T. 2005. Why ragweed parthenium is not a pernicious weed in the continental usa?. Proceedings Second International Conference on Parthenium Management, 2005.

Reddy, K.N., Koger III, C.H. 2003. Herbicide-resistant crops and weed management. H.P. Singh, D.R. Batish, and R.K. Kohli, eds. In: Handbook of Sustainable Weed Management, pp. 549-580, Chapter 19.

Tucker, A.O., Maciarello, M.J., Bryson, C.T. 2006. The essential oil of kyllinga odorata vahl (cyperaceae), from mississippi. Journal of Essential Oil Research, 18:381-382.

Arai, K., Hirase, K., Moriyasu, K., Molin, W.T. 2006. Effect of 4-ethyl-3-(3fluorophenyl)-1-(3-trifluoromethylphenyl) pyrrolidin-2-one on the control of graminaceous and broad-leaf weeds in cotton. Journal of Pesticide Science, 31(1), 29-34.

Reddy, K.N. 2005. Deep tillage and glyphosate reduced redvine (brunnichia ovata) and trumpetcreeper (campsis radicans) populations in glyphosate-resistant soybean (glycine max). Weed Technology 19:713-718.

Sanyal, D., Bhowmik, P.C., Reddy, K.N. 2006. Leaf characteristics and surfactant affect primisulfuron droplet spread in three broadleaf weeds. Weed Science 54:16-22.

Bryson, C.T., Fox, A.M., Byrd, J.D. 2006. Effects of temperature on wetland nightshade (solanum tampicense dunal) and its potential spread in the united states. Weed Technology 20:778-783.

Bellaloui, N., Reddy, K.N., Zablotowicz, R.M., Mengistu, A. 2006. Simulated glyphosate drift influences nitrate assimilation and nitrogen fixation in non-glyphosate resistant soybean. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. Vol 54: 3357-3364

Molin, W.T., Hirase, K. 2005. Effect of surfactants and simulated rain on the efficacy of engame formulation of glyphosate on seedling johnsongrass, prickly sida and yellow nutsedge. Weed Biology and Management 5:123-127.

Kathiresan, R.M., Koger III, C.H., Reddy, K.N. 2006. Allelopathy for weed control in aquatic and wetland systems. Inderjit and K.G. Mukerji, eds. In: Allelochemicals: Biological Control of Plant Pathogens and Diseases, Springer, The Netherlands, Vol 7, pp. 214.

Mengistu, A., Reddy, K.N. 2005. Detection of phomopsis spp on weed hosts and its pathogenicity on soybean. Seed Technology. Vol. 27: 97-100.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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