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Glyphosate-resistant and glyphosate-susceptible Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Wats.): hyperspectral reflectance properties of plants and potential for classification




Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Wats.) is a troublesome agronomic weed in the southern United States, and several populations have evolved resistance to glyphosate. This paper reports on spectral signatures of glyphosate-resistant (GR) and glyphosate-sensitive (GS) plants, and explores the potential of using hyperspectral sensors to distinguish GR from GS plants.


GS plants have higher light reflectance in the visible region and lower light reflectance in the infrared region of the spectrum compared with GR plants. The normalized reflectance spectrum of the GR and GS plants had best separability in the 400–500 nm, 650–690 nm, 730–740 nm and 800–900 nm spectral regions. Fourteen wavebands from within or near these four spectral regions provided a classification of unknown set of GR and GS plants, with a validation accuracy of 94% for greenhouse-grown plants and 96% for field-grown plants.


GR and GS Palmer amaranth plants have unique hyperspectral reflectance properties, and there are four distinct regions of the spectrum that can separate the GR from GS plants. These results demonstrate that hyperspectral imaging has potential application to distinguish GR from GS Palmer amaranth plants (without a glyphosate treatment), with future implications for glyphosate resistance management. Published 2014. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA