Atmospheric pollen dispersion from herbicide-resistant horseweed (Conyza canadensis L.)

Junming Wang, Meilan Qi, Haiyan Huang, Rongjian Ye, Xiangzhen Li, C. Neal Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Horseweed (Conyza canadensis (L.) Cronq.) with evolved herbicide resistance has become an especially problematic weed in crop production across the USA and on four continents (North America, South America, Asia, and Europe). Spread of herbicide resistance can occur through pollen-mediated gene flow between resistant and susceptible horseweed populations. However, there are little knowledge, preventive guidelines, and mechanism modeling for pollen transport in this system. We need to better understand pollen dispersion and deposition in the context of atmospheric conditions, herbicide-resistant horseweed patch size, and buffer crop type, height, and field size. A mechanistic model is needed to account for these. A pollen dispersion and deposition model was calibrated and validated using 2013 experimental field data. The validated model was run for various combinations of atmospheric conditions, horseweed characteristics (source strength), and buffer species and size (pollen can be intercepted by crop plants). Large fields with crops with a high leaf area density and tall plants can effectively prevent pollen dispersion. The information will help provide guidelines for preventing herbicide resistance spread from herbicide-resistant weeds and genetically modified plants in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-406
Number of pages14
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


  • Herbicide resistance
  • Horseweed
  • Modeling
  • Pollen dispersion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Plant Science


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