Cimmy Nakum

M.S. Level Student
University of Illinois at Chicago
Advised by Dr. Katherine Warpeha

Palmer Amaranth: Discovering Weaknesses of Seedlings for Management in Soybean Fields

Palmer amaranth is a broadleaf weed that is capable of reducing soybean yield, and capable of producing hundreds of thousands of hardy seeds. The Warpeha lab has been studying development of both Palmer amaranth and soybean cyst nematode to understand weaknesses of both during their own early development. Our aim is to apply disruptive chemistry suitable for GM and non-GM soybean, and both IPM and organic management practices, without hitting soybean yield. Early development studied revealed that Palmer amaranth (and waterhemp) derive specific benefits from association with soybean to the soybean’s detriment. Some chemical treatments based on disrupting development were optimal prior to 3 week old weeds. We able to reduce Palmer amaranth growth by treating Palmer amaranth prior to 3 weeks old, and/or treating soybeans (to strengthen soybeans) but treatment required from seed. Palmer amaranth’s greatest attribute is the significant resource allocation to its defense systems, in both roots, stems and leaves, which we have been exploiting to the advantage of soybean. We are working on formulations to reduce Palmer amaranth and SCN, and promote soybean growth.