Weed Physiology and Molecular Biology

The Weed Physiology lab at MSU studies applied agricultural problems using the tools of molecular biology and genetics.  We seek to understand the physiological strategies used by plants that are highly successful as weeds in agricultural settings.  In particular, we study the mechanisms by which weedy biotypes evolve resistance to herbicides.  Research on sulfonylurea herbicide-resistant Kochia scoparia populations showed that resistance was due to several mutations in the gene encoding the target enzyme.  A current project investigates the mechanisms, spatial population structure, and genetics of dicamba resistance in Kochia scoparia.  We are also investigating the mechanism of resistance to multiple herbicide families in Avena fatua (wild oat).  Current work suggests that resistance is due to enhanced herbicide metabolism, mediated by cytochrome P450 monooxygenases.  Other work focuses on relating the spatial and age structures of Linaria dalmatica(Dalmatian toadflax) populations with their invasive potential, as identified by ISSR DNA sequence data. 

Selected Publications:

Malone K, Harmon A, Dyer W, Maxwell B, Perillo C (2014) Development and evaluation of an introductory course in sustainable food & bioenergy systems. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, pp. 1–13. Published online February 8, 2014.

Keith BK, Lehnhoff EA, Burns EE, Menalled FD, Dyer WE (2014) Characterization of Avena fatua L.populations with resistance to five herbicide modes of action. (In preparation).

Jordan, N, Grossman J, Lawrence P, Harmon A, Dyer W, Maxwell B, Cadieux K, Galt R, Rojas A, Byker C, Ahmed S, Bass T, Kebreab E, Singh V, Michaels T, Tzenis C (2014) New curricula for undergraduate food-systems education: A sustainable agriculture education perspective. NACTA J.(in press).

Harris L, Martinez S, Kyser B, Dyer W, Johnson R (2013) Functional analysis of TaABF1 during abscisic acid and gibberellin signaling in aleurone cells of cereal grains. Seed Science Research23:89-98.

Lehnhoff E, Keith BK, Dyer WE, Peterson RK, Menalled FD (2013) Characterization of multiple herbicide resistance in wild oat (Avena fatua) and its impacts on physiology, germinability, and seed production. Agronomy Journal 105:854-862.

Lehnhoff EA, Keith B, Dyer W, Menalled FD (2013) Does multiple herbicide resistance modify crop-weed competitive interactions? Impact of biotic and abiotic stresses on multiple herbicide resistant wild oat (Avena fatua) in competition with wheat (Triticum aestivum). PLoS one 8.5:e64478.

Kalinina EB, Lee L, Kern AJ, Keith BK, Dyer WE (2012) Salt and osmotic stress-induced choline monooxygenase expression in Kochia scoparia is ABA-independent. Biologia Plantarum 56:699-704.

Keith BK., Kalinina EB, Dyer WE (2011) Differentially expressed genes in dicamba-resistant and susceptible biotypes of Kochia scoparia. Weed Biology and Management 11:224-234.