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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Feb 27;104(9):3627-32. Epub 2007 Feb 20.

Single-site mutations in the carboxyltransferase domain of plastid acetyl-CoA carboxylase confer resistance to grass-specific herbicides.

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  • 1Agricultural Molecular Biotechnology Laboratory, School of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Queensland, Gatton 4343, Queensland, Australia.


Grass weed populations resistant to aryloxyphenoxypropionate (APP) and cyclohexanedione herbicides that inhibit acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACCase; EC represent a major problem for sustainable agriculture. We investigated the molecular basis of resistance to ACCase-inhibiting herbicides for nine wild oat (Avena sterilis ssp. ludoviciana Durieu) populations from the northern grain-growing region of Australia. Five amino acid substitutions in plastid ACCase were correlated with herbicide resistance: Ile-1,781-Leu, Trp-1,999-Cys, Trp-2,027-Cys, Ile-2,041-Asn, and Asp-2,078-Gly (numbered according to the Alopecurus myosuroides plastid ACCase). An allele-specific PCR test was designed to determine the prevalence of these five mutations in wild oat populations suspected of harboring ACCase-related resistance with the result that, in most but not all cases, plant resistance was correlated with one (and only one) of the five mutations. We then showed, using a yeast gene-replacement system, that these single-site mutations also confer herbicide resistance to wheat plastid ACCase: Ile-1,781-Leu and Asp-2,078-Gly confer resistance to APPs and cyclohexanediones, Trp-2,027-Cys and Ile-2,041-Asn confer resistance to APPs, and Trp-1,999-Cys confers resistance only to fenoxaprop. These mutations are very likely to confer resistance to any grass weed species under selection imposed by the extensive agricultural use of the herbicides.

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