Measuring a Population's Response to Dicamba
When Javier collected kochia plants for his research he sampled at least 40 random plants from a field, representing the broader population that occurred in the field.
The phenotype of a plant is controlled by the genotype (genetic make-up) plus how the genotype responds to the environment where the plant is grown. In the greenhouse Javier did his best to make the environment uniform for all plants, and he carefully applied the dicamba so that the doses received by the plants were consistent within each treatment. Any variation he measured among plants and across populations would be expected to be due to differences in the genetic makeup.
All of the populations were initially treated with a single dose of dicamba (Figure 7).
Now let’s review the hypothesis: All populations of a given species will respond the same to a given dose of dicamba. Was Javier able to accept or reject his hypothesis based on the data in Figure 7?
The hypothesis was rejected. This data shows that there is great variability in kochia response to dicamba across populations in Nebraska, and even within some of the populations. This suggests that repeated applications of dicamba without the use of other effective control measures may select for less-resistant individuals, and shift populations towards those that are not susceptible to dicamba.