Root colonization by soil microorganisms has been shown to increase the activity of glyphosate in resistant and susceptible biotypes of giant ragweed and a susceptible common lambsquarters biotype, but not in horseweed biotypes. The objective of this study was to investigate the colonization of roots in glyphosate-resistant and -susceptible giant ragweed and horseweed biotypes, and glyphosate-tolerant and -susceptible biotypes of common lambsquarters after a sublethal glyphosate application. The three weed species were grown separately in sterile and unsterile field soil and treated with glyphosate at two sublethal rates. Soil microbes were isolated from the roots onto sterile media 3 d after the glyphosate treatment. The susceptible biotypes of giant ragweed and horseweed grown in unsterile soil were colonized by more soil microbes at the higher rate of glyphosate, compared to the resistant biotype grown in unsterile soil. Oomycetes were isolated separately on a selective media and they were also more prevalent in the roots of the susceptible biotypes of each weed species grown in the unsterile soil when glyphosate was applied at the highest rate. Therefore, the ability of these three weed species to tolerate a glyphosate application may involve differences in the susceptibility to soil microbial colonization, especially oomycetes.
Nomenclature: Glyphosate; common lambsquarters, Chenopodium album L. CHEAL; giant ragweed, Ambrosia trifida L. AMBTR; horseweed, Conyza canadensis (L.) Cronq. ERICA.