Dr. Kevin C. Vaughn
Dr. Kevin C. Vaughn, Plant Physiologist, has three major areas of research interest: herbicide mode of action, herbicide resistance and weed biology. Vaughn has investigated the modes of action of mitotic disrupter, amino acid synthesis inhibitor, photosystem I diverter, and photosystem II inhibitor herbicides. These studies were used to classify about one third of the herbicides into groups that assist growers in rotating herbicide types so as to prevent the appearance of resistant weeds.
In the area of herbicide resistance, Vaughn has investigated weeds that have become resistant to seven different classes of herbicide. These studies have established the mechanisms of resistance, the extent of the resistance, the patterns of cross-resistance to other herbicides, and the physiological consequences of the resistance. Because of these studies, Vaughn has published several major invited reviews in herbicide resistance and mode of action. A present research interest in weed biology is the group of parasitic weeds known as dodders. These are the most pernicious and widespread of all the parasitic weeds, causing millions of dollars of loss each year to American agriculture and threatening rare native plants in non-agricultural ecosystems. Investigations in Vaughn's laboratory have established the mechanisms by which the dodder attaches and invades the host.
A new interest is in the area of vining weeds. Many of Vaughn's studies utilize modern techniques of cell biology, including the development of novel probes and techniques to unravel herbicide mode of action, resistance and facets of weed biology not easily investigated by standard biochemical techniques. Vaughn is an internationally known authority on immuno-cytochemistry in plants and has produced over 160 research articles and reviews in his career. He was the Mid South area USDA Scientist of the Year and selected Young Weed Scientist of the Year by the Weed Science Society of America.