Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Fundamental Research in the Fight Against Leafy Spurge – Bud Dormancy and Growth

Authors
item Chao, Wun
item Anderson, James
item Horvath, David
item Foley, Michael

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 10, 2005
Publication Date: April 5, 2005
Citation: Chao, W.S., Anderson, J.V., Horvath, D.P., Foley, M.E. 2005. Fundamental research in the fight against leafy spurge – bud dormancy and growth. [Abstract]. Invasive Species Workshop. Page No. 35.

Interpretive Summary: Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) is a noxious perennial weed that spreads by both seed dispersal and vegetative propagation from underground root buds. Dormancy in seeds and underground root buds is the reason many weeds, including leafy spurge, can escape current control measures. Fundamental research on dormancy to expand our knowledge could be crucial for developing new weed management strategies. In this presentation, we will outline the why, what, and how behind a genomics research approach for understanding the circuitry (pathways) that regulates dormancy. Genomics is the study of the structure, function, and evolution of genes that ultimately determine species diversity and adaptation to their surrounding environment. Using a genomics approach, we can study thousands of genes in one experiment to determine which genes are turned on or off by different treatments or environments. To accomplish this task, we are using microarray technology. Microarrays are basically microscope slides onto which thousands of gene copies are printed. Preliminary experiments using microarrays containing ~1,500 different genes identified some genes that may play important roles in seasonal root bud growth and development. To date, our goal is to construct microarrays that have at least 10,000 different genes printed onto them. Using this genomics approach will increase our ability to identity genes turned on or off in leafy spurge root buds and could help us to “weed out” those that are unimportant for regulating dormancy. Once we have identified those genes which show the most promise, we could use this information to design new methods for controlling perennial weed growth and development.

Technical Abstract: Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) is a noxious perennial weed that spreads by both seed dispersal and vegetative propagation from underground root buds. Dormancy in seeds and underground root buds is the reason many weeds, including leafy spurge, can escape current control measures. Fundamental research on dormancy to expand our knowledge could be crucial for developing new weed management strategies. In this presentation, we will outline the why, what, and how behind a genomics research approach for understanding the circuitry (pathways) that regulates dormancy. Genomics is the study of the structure, function, and evolution of genes that ultimately determine species diversity and adaptation to their surrounding environment. Using a genomics approach, we can study thousands of genes in one experiment to determine which genes are turned on or off by different treatments or environments. To accomplish this task, we are using microarray technology. Microarrays are basically microscope slides onto which thousands of gene copies are printed. Preliminary experiments using microarrays containing ~1,500 different genes identified some genes that may play important roles in seasonal root bud growth and development. To date, our goal is to construct microarrays that have at least 10,000 different genes printed onto them. Using this genomics approach will increase our ability to identity genes turned on or off in leafy spurge root buds and could help us to “weed out” those that are unimportant for regulating dormancy. Once we have identified those genes which show the most promise, we could use this information to design new methods for controlling perennial weed growth and development.

Last Modified: 12/18/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page