Dormancy is a critical factor for the survival and persistence of weedy species. Contemporary approaches can be used to identify genes that regulate dormancy directly or indirectly to elucidate key mechanisms, signals, and pathways. Several domesticated plant species have been used as model systems to mark quantitative trait loci (QTL) that affect dormancy in seeds and vegetative propagules directly. A few weedy species have also been used to mark QTL and to determine dormancy genes using microarray analysis. Given the number of serious weeds worldwide and the role that dormancy plays in their persistence, developing fundamental knowledge on dormancy is an important step toward developing new strategies for weed management. This paper describes current research and outlines some weeds that might be candidates for dormancy investigations using molecular genetic and genomics approaches. An underlying theme in the selection of weeds for dormancy investigations is their relation to crop species and the ability to adapt existing resources to investigate dormancy in weedy plants.
Nomenclature: Canada thistle, Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop. CIRAR; green foxtail, Setaria viridis (L.) Beauv. SETVI; horsenettle, Solanum carolinense L. SOLCA; johnsongrass, Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers. SORHA; Jerusalem artichoke, Helianthus tuberosus L. HELTU; jointed goatgrass, Aegilops cylindrica Ces. AEGCY; leafy spurge, Euphorbia esula L. EPHES; prickly lettuce, Lactuca serriola L. LACSE; purple nutsedge, Cyperus rotundus L. CYPRO; wild mustard, Brassica kaber (DC.) L. C. Wheeler SINAR; wild oat, Avena fatua L. AVEFA; yellow nutsedge, Cyperus esculentus L. CYPES; Arabidopsis or mouse-ear cress, Arabidopsis thaliana L.; Asian wild rice, Oryza rufipogon Griff.; foxtail millet, Setaria italica (L.) P. Beauv.; oat, Avena sativa L.; potato, Solanum tuberosum L.; rice, Oryza sativa L.; sorghum, Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench; wheat, Triticum aestivum L.