The Evolution of Johnsongrass
With at least 24 herbicide-resistant biotypes 8, Johnsongrass is a noxious weed in 20 U.S. states. Johnsongrass has a very large climate niche, with favorable growing conditions occurring across all non-Antarctic continents. Due to the high threats it poses to biodiversity, agricultural production, and food security, Johnsongrass is the focus of intense scientific inquiry by the UGA Plant Genome Mapping Laboratory. Draft sequencing of a Johnsongrass genome, together with molecular analysis of 599 Johnsongrass samples sampling most of its continental United States range, are shedding new light on the evolution and biology of this species, toward its control. Surprisingly, several potential benefits of Johnsongrass for sorghum improvement have also been identified.