Shattercane X ALS-Tolerant Sorghum F1 Hybrid and Shattercane Interference in ALS-Tolerant Sorghum

  •  Rodrigo Werle    
  •  Jared Schmidt    
  •  John Laborde    
  •  Angela Tran    
  •  Cody Creech    
  •  John Lindquist    


ALS-tolerant grain sorghum cultivars are expected to be available for farmers within the next few years. Knowing that: i) crosses between sorghum and shattercane are likely to occur resulting in crop-to-weed gene flow; ii) ALS-susceptible shattercane X ALS-tolerant grain sorghum F1 hybrids (hybrids) were ultimately resistant to ALS-herbicides under field conditions; and iii) hybrid fitness is equal to, or greater than, the wild parent, we conducted a greenhouse study to compare the competitive effect of shattercane and hybrid on sorghum, and whether or not herbicide application would influence the competitive ability of the hybrid plants. An additive design was used where weed densities varied while that of crop remained constant. The treatment design was a factorial with two weedy genotypes, shattercane and hybrid, with the hybrid being either exposed or not exposed to an ALS-herbicide application (nicosulfuron (26.25 g ai ha-1) + rimsulfuron (13.16 g ai ha-1)), and five weed densities (0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 plants pot-1). Sorghum density was kept at 1 plant pot-1. F-tests were performed to compare differences across treatment levels. Shattercane and hybrid produced similar amounts of total above ground biomass within each density, and herbicide exposure did not decrease hybrid biomass production. Moreover, shattercane and hybrid competed similarly with sorghum, and a herbicide application did not reduce the competitive ability of the hybrid. Sorghum wild relatives must be managed by alternative methods before and during the adoption of ALS-tolerant sorghum technology to avoid gene flow and crop yield loss due to competition.

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