John L. Lindquist

John L. Lindquist

Associate Department Head, Professor

B.S., Botany/Secondary Science Education, Montana State University, 1988

M.S., Agronomy (Weed Population Biology), University of Minnesota, 1994

Ph.D., Agronomy(Weed/Crop Ecophysiology), University of Nebraska, 1997

Area of Focus

Plant Ecology

Research Interests

My lab has interest in a broad range of agroecological issues ranging from the mechanisms of interplant competition to gene flow in sorghum species to ecological weed management in organic production systems to the use of systems simulation to optimize the efficiency and sustainability of our agricultural production systems.

Courses Taught

  • Agronomy 426 - Invasive Plants. This course is taught every spring semester at UNL. The course provides a background on the identification, biology and ecology of weedy and invasive plants. Principles of invasive plant management by preventive, cultural, biological, mechanical and chemical means using an adaptive management framework. Herbicide terminology and classification; plant-herbicide and soil-herbicide interactions; equipment calibration and dosage calculations.
  • Agronomy 896 - Interplant Competition in Managed Ecosystems. This course is taught in alternate years during the spring semester. This course will focus on whole plant physiological response to solar radiation, water, and nutrients, and on interplant competition for these resources. Quantitative relationships useful for integrating the interactive affects of these factors on plant growth and interplant competition will be stressed. The course will be a mixture of lecture, discussion of relevant literature, an experiment and its’ write-up, and homework sets.

Major Project Activities

We currently have four major projects in my lab, but these are not the limits of our interest.
  1. Gene Flow in Sorghum bicolor. There has been considerable interest in modifying the quality traits of grain sorghum using transgenic technology to enhance its nutritional value to both humans and animals raised for human consumption. There is inherent risk in deploying genetically modified grain sorghum because several related species (e. g. johnsongrass, shattercane) are capable of interbreeding with grain sorghum. There has been little published research on the potential gene flow from grain sorghum to its weedy relative shattercane, which is common to sorghum production regions of the USA. The goals of this project were to quantify the potential for pollen-mediated gene flow from grain sorghum to shattercane and johnsongrass, and evaluate the risk of a trait becoming introgressed into these weedy species. Our specific objectives were to: 1) Quantify the synchrony of flowering of multiple genotypes of grain sorghum and shattercane in situ, 2) Quantify duration of pollen viability and its settling velocity in several grain sorghum hybrids, 3) Quantify the fitness of the shattercane x grain sorghum F2 population relative to the wild type shattercane, 4) Utilize models and data gathered on critical parameters to predict pollen-mediated gene flow and the likelihood of resistance evolution under different croppping systems, and 5) quantify pollen-mediated gene flow from grain sorghum to johnsongrass. Results of this research also will provide valuable science-based information useful for identifying management practices that could minimize the biological risk of deploying transgenic sorghum. Parts of this research were funded by the USDA NIFA Biotechnology Risk Assessment Grants Program, 2010-2015; The United Sorghum Checkoff, 2013-2016; and DuPont, 2013-2016.
  2. Ecological Weed Management in Organic Agriculture. Many studies have demonstrated the weed suppressive potential and fertility contributions of individual cover crop species, but the value of diverse cover crop strategies have received less attention. The objective of this project is to determine the effects of cover crop diversity on weed populations, soil microbial community composition, soil nutrient availability, soil water content, grain yield and profitability. Various mixtures of cover crops are incorporated into a corn-soybean-wheat certified organic crop rotation. Project results will provide innovative solutions for organic farmers seeking to increase productivity, profitability, and system resilience by increasing biodiversity and reducing off-farm inputs. Funded by the Ceres Trust Organic Research Initiative. 2009-2017.
  3. Conservation Agriculture. In a collaboration with colleagues at CIMMYT, we have a project on the potential success of conservation agriculture in Nepal. Conservation agriculture is a crop production system that strives to achieve acceptable profits along with high and sustained production while conserving the environment. Key principles of conservation agriculture are 1. Practice minimum mechanical tillage, 2. Keep as much residue as possible, and 3. Rotate crops. Our project involves components of all three of these principles.
  4. Mechanisms of Interplant Competition. We’ve recently completed some research on the effects of variable water supply on corn and velvetleaf growth, water use, and interplant interference. The goal of this research was to understand how water supply influences interplant competition and obtain sufficient data to forecast the risks associated with variable water supply in specific environments across Nebraska and the Great Plains. Our goal is to build this knowledge into an ecophysiological model of interplant competition that can be used to explore the effects of climate change and agroecosystem management on weed competitiveness, potential range expansion of important herbicide resistant C4 weeds, multispecies competition, and soil water and nutrient management to optimize crop production in varying environments, to name a few.

Extension Interests

I'm very interested in applying what we've learned through our research by incorporating results and important concepts about plant ecology into educational programs that aid producers in making decisions about best management practices in specific Nebraska environments.


Refereed since 2012
  • Werle, R., K. Begcy, M. K. Yerka, J. P. Mower, I. Dweikat, A. J. Jhala and J. L. Lindquist. 2017. Independent evolution of acetolactate synthase-inhibiting herbicide resistance in weedy Sorghum populations across common geographic regions. Weed Science 65:164-176.
  • Sarangi, D., A. J. Tyre, E. L. Patterson, T. A. Gaines, S. Irmak, S.Z. Knezevic, J. L. Lindquist, and A.J. Jhala. 2017. Pollen-mediated gene flow from glyphosate-resistant common waterhemp (Amaranthus rudis Sauer): consequences for the dispersal of resistance genes. Nature Scientific Reports 7:44913. DOI: 10.1038/srep44913
  • Ganie, Z. A., J. L. Lindquist, G. R. Kruger, J. Mithila, D. B. Marx and A. J. Jhala. 2017. An integrated approach to control glyphosate-resistant giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida L.) with preplant tillage and herbicides in glyphosate-resistant corn. Weed Research 57:112-122.
  • Werle, R., B. Tenhumberg and J. L. Lindquist. 2017. Modeling shattercane dynamics in herbicide-tolerant grain sorghum cropping systems. Ecological Modeling 343:131-141.
  • Butts, T. R., J. J. Miller, J. D. Pruitt, B. C. Vieira, M. C. Oliveira, S. Ramirez II and J. L. Lindquist. 2017. Light quality effect on corn growth as influenced by weed species and nitrogen rate. Journal of Agricultural Science 9(1):15-27. doi:10.5539/jas.v9n1p15 December 15, 2016.
  • Vaughn, L. G., M. L. Bernards, T. J. Arkebauer and J. L. Lindquist. 2016. Corn and velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti) growth and transpiration efficiency under varying water supply. Weed Science 64:596-604.
  • Werle, R., A. J. Jhala, M. K. Yerka, J. A. Dille and J. L. Lindquist. 2016. Distribution of herbicide-resistant shattercane and johnsongrass populations in sorghum production areas of Nebraska and northern Kansas. Agronomy Journal 108:321-328.
  • Sarangi, D., S. Irmak, J. L. Lindquist, S. Z. Knezevic and A. J. Jhala. 2016. Effect of water stress on the growth and fecundity of common waterhemp (Amaranthus rudis). Weed Science 64:42-52.
  • Blanco-Canqui, H., T. M. Shaver, J. L. Lindquist, C. A. Shapiro, R. W. Elmore, C. A. Francis and G. W. Hergert. 2015. Cover crops and ecosystem services: insights from studies in temperate soils. Agronomy Journal 107:2449-2474.
  • Li, H., J. L. Lindquist and Y. Yang. 2015. Effects of sowing date on phenotypic plasticity of fitness-related traits in two annual weeds on the Songnen Plain of China. PLOS One DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0127795 May 29, 2015.
  • Sarangi, D., L. D. Sandell, S. Z. Knezevic, J. S. Aulakh, J. L. Lindquist, S. Irmak and A. J. Jhala. 2015. Confirmation and control of glyphosate-resistant common waterhemp (Amaranthus rudis) in Nebraska. Weed Technology 29:82-92.
  • Werle, R., L. J. Giesler, M. L. Bernards and J. L. Lindquist. 2015. Likelihood of soybean cyst nematode (Heterodera glycines) reproduction on henbit (Lamium amplexicaule) roots in Nebraska. Weed Technology 29:35-41.
  • Wortman, S. E., J. J. Schmidt and J. L. Lindquist. 2015. Weed suppressive potential of sudangrass is driven by interactions of root exudates and decomposing shoot residue. Crop Management 2014 13: 1: - doi:10.2134/CM-2013-0037-RS.
  • Kaur, S., L. D. Sandell, J. L. Lindquist and A. J. Jhala. 2014. Glyphosate-resistant giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida) control in gluphosinate-resistant soybean. Weed Technology 28:569-577.
  • Werle, R., L. L. Perez, L. L. Sandell and J. L. Lindquist. 2014. Corn (Zea mays) emergence and early growth as influenced by tansymustard (Descurainia pinnata) residue. Crop Management 13:1-5. DOI 10.2134/CM-2013-0088-RS
  • Werle, R., L.D. Sandell, D.D. Buhler, R.G. Hartzler, and J. L. Lindquist. 2014. Predicting emergence of twenty-three summer annual weed species. Weed Science 62:267-279.
  • Werle, R., J. Schmidt, J. Laborde, A. Tran, C. F. Creech and J. L. Lindquist. 2014. Shattercane x ALS-tolerant sorghum F1 hybrid and shattercane interference in ALS-tolerant sorghum. Journal of Agricultural Science 4:159-165.
  • Clay, S. A., A. Davis, J. A. Dille, J. Lindquist, A. H. M. Ramirez, C. Sprague, G. Reicks, and F. Forcella,. 2014. Common sunflower seedling emergence across the US Midwest. Weed Science 62:63-70.
  • Werle, R., M. L. Bernards, T. J. Arkebauer and J.L. Lindquist. 2014. Environmental triggers of winter annual weed emergence in the Midwestern United States. Weed Science 62:83-96.
  • Schutte, B. J., S. E. Wortman, J. L. Lindquist and A. S. Davis. 2013. Maternal environment effects on phenolic defenses in Abutilon theophrasti seeds. American Journal of Plant Science 4:1127-1133.
  • Wortman, S. E., R. A. Drijber, C. A. Francis and J. L. Lindquist. 2013. Arable weeds, cover crops, and tillage drive soil microbial community composition in organic cropping systems. Applied Soil Ecology 72:232-241
  • Schmidt, J. J., J. F. Pedersen, M. L. Bernards and J. L. Lindquist. 2013. Rate of shattercane x sorghum hybridization in situ. Crop Science 53:1677-1685.
  • Davis, A. S., S. Clay, J. Cardina, A. Dille, F. Forcella, J. Lindquist, and C. Sprague. 2013. Overwinter burial environment explains departures from regional hydrothermal model of giant ragweed seedling emergence in U.S. Midwest. Weed Science 61:415-421.
  • Werle, R., M. L. Bernards, L.J. Giesler, and J.L. Lindquist. 2013. Influence of two herbicides on soybean cyst nematode (Heterodera glycines) reproduction on henbit (Lamium amplexicaule) roots. Weed Technology 27:41-46.
  • Wortman, S. E., C. A. Francis, M. A. Bernards, E. E. Blankenship and J. L. Lindquist. 2013. Mechanical termination of diverse cover crop mixtures for improved weed suppression in organic cropping systems. Weed Science 61:162-170.
  • Han, C., C. Borman, D. Osantowski, J. Wagnitz, K. Koehler-Cole, K. Korus, E. Sonderegger, R. Werle, T. Wood and J. L. Lindquist. 2012. Productivity of field pea (Pisum sativum L.) and spring oat (Avena sativa L.) grown as sole and intercrops under different nitrogen levels. Journal of Agricultural Science 4(11):136-143.
  • Wortman, S. E., A. S. Davis, B. J. Schutte, J. L. Lindquist, J. Cardina, J. Felix, C. L. Sprague, J. A. Dille, A. H. M. Ramirez, G. Reicks and S. A. Clay. 2012. Local conditions, not spatial gradients, drive demographic variation of Ambrosia trifida and Helianthus annuus across the northern US corn belt. Weed Science 60:440-450.
  • Wortman, S. E., C. A. Francis, M. L. Bernards, R. A. Drijber, and J. L. Lindquist. 2012. Optimizing cover crop benefits with diverse mixtures and an alternative termination method. Agronomy Journal 104:1425-1435.
  • Wortman, S. E., C. A. Francis and J. L. Lindquist. 2012. Cover crop mixtures for the western corn belt: Opportunities for increased productivity and stability. Agronomy Journal 104:699-705.