Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Scientists Aim to Sustainably Outsmart 'Super Weeds'

Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Last Updated: Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Bookmark and Share
Across the United States, fields of genetically engineered crops have become laboratories for the evolution of glyphosate-resistant (GR) weeds.

These fast-growing "super weeds" -- resistant to the highly effective herbicide glyphosate -- are cutting crop yields and raising costs for farmers, whose only recourse is to spray more and different chemicals.

The issue, according to Matthew Ryan, assistant professor of crop and soil sciences, isn't going away; three new GR weed species have been documented since January, bringing the total to 24. To combat GR weeds, the agrichemical industry has developed new transgenic crops that are resistant to multiple herbicides. But Ryan and Thomas Bjorkman, associate professor of horticultural sciences, believe this is not a long-term solution.

"The industry's solution doesn't get at the problem of using a single tactic for weed management," said Ryan. "It's not just herbicides. Overusing any one method of weed management, even hand weeding, can create selection pressure on weeds to build resistance."

Just as the overuse of certain antibiotics led to resistant bacteria strains, "super weeds" emerged shortly after transgenic GR crops were introduced in 1996 and farmers began relying almost exclusively on glyphosate to control weeds in those crops. This is why Ryan and Bjorkman are investing instead in preventing the evolution and spread of GR weeds by using diverse integrated weed management (IWM) strategies.

"Prevention involves killing weeds with multiple modes of action, and preventing movement of any potentially resistant weeds from field to field, or from field margins into fields," Bjorkman said.
Integrated weed management includes tactics such as cover cropping, mechanical cultivation, mowing, mulching, crop rotation and targeted herbicide application. Ryan's research shows that using multiple IWM strategies is most effective for managing weeds. IWM strategies also help lower the selection pressure on weeds, preventing them from easily developing resistance.

But Ryan said prevention is a tough sell to farmers who aren't currently battling GR weeds. Bjorkman believes this is because most farmers' finances don't take into account the benefits of avoiding future uncontrollable weed infestations. Also, the industry has pushed their transgenic seed and herbicide development research toward simplicity.

"There are instructions on bottles of herbicides, but not on integrated weed management plans," said Ryan. "IWM can be economical and feasible, but we need more on-the-ground research and work with farmers."

To fill this gap, Ryan and Bjorkman are refining IWM techniques to make them easier for farmers to adapt to their locations and cropping schedules. Ryan is conducting cover crop seeding rate experiments on farms in New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland and North Carolina. He is also leading a newly funded multistate project to research pre-harvest interseeding of cover crops in corn and soybean fields.

Bjorkman's cover crop research has fueled development of two online decision tools that help farmers narrow down to a small number myriad choices for cover-cropping by situation. Bjorkman designed one tool for New York vegetable farmers; the other, developed in conjunction with the Midwest Cover Crops Council, covers several states with an emphasis on field crops.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 5,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

C Dots Show Powerful Tumor Killing Effect
Nanoparticles known as Cornell dots, or C dots, have shown great promise as a therapeutic tool in the detection and treatment of cancer.
Friday, September 30, 2016
$1M NIH Grant to Refine PCR Based Cancer Test
Researchers at Cornell University, Weill Cornell Medicine, the University of California, San Francisco, and the Infectious Diseases Institute in Kampala, Uganda, recieve a four-year, $1 million grant to hone technology for a quick, in-the-field diagnosis of Kaposi's sarcoma — a cancer frequently related to HIV infections.
Friday, September 02, 2016
Vortex Ring Freezing Applications
Accidental lab discovery could aid cell delivery and cell-free protein production.
Monday, August 22, 2016
Measuring Chemistry on a Chip
Researchers developing chemical sensor chip for sample analysis in a lab or monitoring air and water quality in the field.
Thursday, August 18, 2016
Key to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is in Your Gut, Not Head
Researchers report they have identified biological markers of the disease in gut bacteria and inflammatory microbial agents in the blood.
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Pathogen Takes Control of Gypsy Moth Populations
A new fungal pathogen is killing gypsy moth caterpillars and crowding out communities of pathogens and parasites that previously destroyed these moth pests.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Eating Green Could be in Your Genes
Genetic variation uncovered that has evolved in populations that have historically favored vegetarian diets, such as in India, Africa and parts of East Asia.
Friday, April 01, 2016
$4.8M USAID Grant to Improve Food Security
To strengthen capacity to develop and disseminate genetically engineered eggplant in Bangladesh and the Philippines, the USAID has awarded Cornell a $4.8 million, three-year cooperative grant.
Friday, April 01, 2016
Proteins Seek, Attack, Destroy Tumor Cells in Bloodstream
Using white blood cells to ferry potent cancer-killing proteins through the bloodstream virtually eliminates metastatic prostate cancer in mice, Cornell researchers have confirmed.
Friday, January 15, 2016
Tumor-suppressing Gene Lends Insight to Cancer Treatment
Researchers have found that delicate replication process derails if a gene named PTEN has mutated or is absent.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Synthetic Immune Organ Produces Antibodies
Cornell engineers have created a functional, synthetic immune organ that produces antibodies and can be controlled in the lab, completely separate from a living organism.
Friday, June 12, 2015
On Planes, Savory Tomato Becomes Favored Flavor
Study shows the effect that airplane noise has on passengers' taste preferences.
Friday, May 15, 2015
$5.5M NSF Grant Aims to Improve Rice Crops with Genome Editing
Researchers to precisely target, cut, remove and replace DNA in a living cell to improve rice.
Friday, May 08, 2015
'Shield' Gives Tricky Proteins a New Identity
Solubilization of Integral Membrane Proteins with high Levels of Expression.
Saturday, April 11, 2015
DNA Safeguard May Be Key In Cancer Treatment
Cornell researchers have developed a new technique to understand the actions of key proteins required for cancer cells to proliferate.
Monday, March 09, 2015
Scientific News
Point of Care Diagnostics - A Cautious Revolution
Advances in molecular biology, coupled with the miniaturization and improved sensitivity of assays and devices in general, have enabled a new wave of point-of-care (POC) or “bedside” diagnostics.
Mass Spec Technology Drives Innovation Across the Biopharma Workflow
With greater resolving power, analytical speed, and accuracy, new mass spectrometry technology and techniques are infiltrating the biopharmaceuticals workflow.
One Step Closer to Precision Medicine for Chronic Lung Disease Sufferers
A study led by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and National Jewish Health, has provided evidence of links between SNPs and known COPD blood protein biomarkers.
Researchers Find a Gap in the Brain’s Firewall Against Parkinson’s Disease
Researchers at NIH have found mouse study that identified a key player in the progression of the disorder.
Fat Cells That Amplify Nerve Signals in Response to Cold Also Affect Blood Sugar Metabolism
Researchers at UTSW have found that the protein connexin 43 forms cell-to-cell communication channels on the surface of emerging beige fat cells that amplify the signals from those few nerve fibers.
Drug to Treat Alcohol Use Disorder Shows Promise Among Drinkers With High Stress
The findings suggest that potential future studies with drugs targeting vasopressin blockade should focus on populations of people with AUD who also report high levels of stress.
C Dots Show Powerful Tumor Killing Effect
Nanoparticles known as Cornell dots, or C dots, have shown great promise as a therapeutic tool in the detection and treatment of cancer.
Faecal Bacteria Linked to Body Fat
Researchers at King’s College London have found a new link between the diversity of bacteria in human poo – known as the human faecal microbiome - and levels of abdominal body fat.
How Baby’s Genes Influence Birth Weight And Later Life Disease
The large-scale study could help to target new ways of preventing and treating these diseases.
Genes Underlying Dogs’ Social Ability Revealed
The social ability of dogs is affected by genes that also seem to influence human behaviour, according to a new study from Linköping University in Sweden.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,000+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!