Sosnoskie Lab: Research topics

New specialty crop herbicides

One of Lynn's research focuses is identifying new herbicide active ingredients for use in specialty crops. Compared to corn, soybean and cotton, commercial fruits and vegetables are grown on very few acres in the United States. Additionally, these crops are often sensitive to many herbicides/herbicide modes of action. Combined, these factors can limit the number of registered chemicals available for weed control in non-agronomic systems. In partnership with commodity groups, agricultural manufacturers, and the IR-4 Project, Sosnoskie’s lab is screening novel products for potential labeling.

Herbicide resistance

Repeated use of some herbicides over time and space can lead to intense pressure that selects for weed biotypes able to tolerate various herbicide chemistries. So another focus area of Lynn's research is confirming and describing herbicide resistance in weed species that have grown increasingly difficult to control.

This includes glyphosate resistance and resistance to the ALS-inhibiting chemistries in Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) and waterhemp (Amaranthus tuberculatus). It also includes resistance to paraquat in horseweed (Erigeron canadensis).

Other weed species-herbicide combinations of concern and investigation include common lambsquarters (Chenopodium album)/bentazon, Powell amaranth (Amaranthus powellii)/PPO-inhibiting herbicides, and common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia)/clopyralid.

New weed control tools

While herbicides are an important component of weed management, they are not a silver bullet. Sustainable programs must investigate other tools and technologies for controlling unwanted vegetation. Lynn’s lab is also exploring non-chemical strategies for weed suppression including cover crops and mulches and vision-guided and electric weeders.