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Herbicides, Biotechnology

  1. Stephen O. Duke1,
  2. Brian E. Scheffler2,
  3. C. Douglas Boyette3,
  4. John Lydon4,
  5. Anna Oliva5

Published Online: 17 DEC 2004

DOI: 10.1002/0471238961.herbduke.a01

Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology

Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology

How to Cite

Duke, S. O., Scheffler, B. E., Boyette, C. D., Lydon, J. and Oliva, A. 2004. Herbicides, Biotechnology. Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    USDA, ARS, Natural Products Utilization Res. Unit

  2. 2

    USDA, ARS, Catfish Genetics Research

  3. 3

    USDA, ARS, Southern Weed Science Research

  4. 4

    USDA, ARS, Sustainable Agricultural Systems Res. Unit

  5. 5

    State University of New York

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 17 DEC 2004

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Biotechnology can be used to enhance the management weeds in several ways. Crops have been made resistant to herbicides by inserting transgenes that impart herbicide resistance into the plant genome. Glyphosate-, glufosinate-, and bromoxynil-resistant crops are commercialized in North America. This technology has been highly successful, transforming weed management in several major crops. Selection for mutations that impart herbicide resistance to crops has also been successfully used to generate herbicide-resistant crops. There are several living microbial products for the biocontrol of weeds. These agents have not been very successful, but work is being conducted to improve them with biotechnology methods. The use of crops that produce their own herbicides (allelopathy) has been even less successful. Biotechnological approaches are being used to generate crops that can poison weeds with less or without synthetic chemical inputs. Research on natural phytotoxins from plants (allelochemicals) has also provided lead compounds for herbicide discovery.


  • allelopathy;
  • biocontrol;
  • biotechnology;
  • glyphosate;
  • glufosinate;
  • herbicide-resistant crop;
  • transgene