Credits: 3

Terms Offered: Fall, Odd years

Instructor: James H. Westwood

Prerequisites: Two semesters of college biology and chemistry or two years' experience in agricultural production, industry, or policy.


This course provides a detailed examination of the most important topics in weed science today. Material discussed will include invasive species, and the underlying principles of ecology and genetics that affect the dynamics of plant communities. Herbicide mechanisms of action, selectivity, and fate will be analyzed from the perspective of genetic engineered herbicide resistance, herbicide resistance in weeds, and environmental impact of herbicides. Online course.

Lecture Topics

  • Review of weed definitions
  • Invasive weeds
    • Allelopathic strategies
    • Genetics of populations
  • Weed persistence
    • Vegetative structures
    • Seeds
    • Dormancy mechanisms: Seeds
    • Dormancy mechanisms: Vegetative buds
  • Herbicide Action (including mechanisms of major herbicides)
    • Genetic engineering herbicide resistance
    • Herbicide-resistant crops and weed management
    • Gene flow of resistance traits
    • Environmental detection of herbicides in groundwater
    • Herbicide toxicology
    • Natural product leads in herbicide development
    • Soil applied herbicides
    • Contact herbicides
    • Herbicide resistant weeds
    • Managing herbicide-resistant weeds
    • Herbicide translocation
    • Herbicide metabolism