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Amaranth Species Identification

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Palmer Amaranth Identification

Palmer Amaranth & Waterhemp: Noxious Weeds

Eurofins BioDiagnostics offers species identification services for both Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus Palmeri) and waterhemp (Amaranthus Tuberculatus). These species pose a significant problem due to their resistance to multiple herbicides and similar appearance to other amaranth species. Currently, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, Washington, and Wisconsin classify Palmer amaranth as a prohibited noxious weed. Waterhemp is only classified as a prohibited noxious weed by Wisconsin, but other states are considering following suit.

  How to Submit a Sample  


Amaranth Species Identification with Eurofins

Eurofins BioDiagnostics has developed and validated three tests for amaranth identification depending on your testing requirements. Seed producers can submit their seed samples to our laboratory to complete a purity/noxious weed exam. If another laboratory already completed the exam, producers can submit the amaranth seed found to Eurofins for DNA testing in order to obtain a determination of the amaranth species within the lot.

Single Seed/Leaf Testing:

For testing individual amaranth seeds, we offer a highly specific and low-cost probe-based PCR test to identify Palmer amaranth and waterhemp. Testing individual seeds provides higher confidence that no Palmer amaranth and/or waterhemp is present because each seed is confirmed to be positive or negative. Eurofins BioDiagnostics can test a single sample for both Palmer amaranth and waterhemp.

Pooled Seed Testing:

A pooled seed PCR test is a cost-effective option for testing larger numbers of seeds from an individual lot, and may allow for a greater assessment of seed lot contamination. Seeds from one lot can be combined into a pool of up to 25 seeds. Pooled seed testing is only available for the Palmer amaranth assay.

Species Identification Test:

For species identification, Eurofins BioDiagnostics offers Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) sequencing. This test can be used for the identification of single seed or leaf as either Palmer amaranth, waterhemp, other amaranth species, or as a non-Amaranth species. ITS sequencing allows identification of seeds from other genera. This option is the best choice if there is uncertainty that the seed or leaf is amaranth.


Testing Schemes


Palmer Amaranthus


Combined Palmer & Waterhemp

Cost for single seed/leaf PCR testing



$18 (minimum $90)**

Cost for pooled PCR testing
(orders 1-5 pools)




Cost for pooled PCR testing
(orders > 5 pools)




*minimum of $50 for any samples of 5 seeds or less per submission
**minimum of $90 for any samples of 5 seeds or less per submission

Species Identification testing using ITS sequencing for confirmation testing: Contact your Eurofins BioDiagnostics representative for specific pricing considerations.


How to Submit a Sample

Amaranth seed found in a 25,000 seed noxious weed exam should be submitted for DNA testing to obtain a statistically accurate report of the amaranth germplasm in the lot. Well-developed seeds, either individually or in pools of up to 25 seeds, may be submitted for testing.

  • If you need your seed lot evaluated, our lab can perform purity/noxious weed exams. Any amaranth species seedlings discovered, can be tested with our molecular identification method.
  • Submit seeds from each seed lot in either coin envelopes or clear plastic baggies with sample information and number of seeds listed on each bag.
  • Each seed or pool will be entered as a single sample and results will be issued on a single seed or pool basis.


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