Start Date: Jul 22, 2010
End Date: Sep 30, 2010
Certain characteristics of weeds, such as dormancy of reproductive structures and plasticity due to genetic variation account for their persistence, survival, and ability to escape modern control methods. Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) and leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) are serious weeds due to their negative impacts in rangeland, natural lands, and agronomic production systems. Leafy spurge is a noxious perennial that escapes current integrated weed management strategies due to bud and seed dormancy. Canada thistle is another noxious perennial weed, but is difficult to manage in natural lands due to limited and economical integrated weed management options. The goal of this project is to increase fundamental knowledge about dormancy and genetic diversity to devise improved and new weed management strategies by elucidating mechanisms, signals, and pathways that regulate these characteristics. In this project, population genetic investigations will be initiated for Canada thistle in the field, and research on dormancy in leafy spurge will be conducted in the laboratory and greenhouse using molecular, genetic, and genomic approaches.