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Heredity (Edinb). 2008 Dec;101(6):499-506. doi: 10.1038/hdy.2008.92. Epub 2008 Sep 3.

The effects of the genetic background on herbicide resistance fitness cost and its associated dominance in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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  • 1UMR1210 Biologie et Gestion des Adventices, INRA, Dijon, France.


The advantage of the resistance conferred by a mutation can sometimes be offset by a high fitness-cost penalty. This balance will affect possible fate of the resistance allele. Few studies have explored the impact of the genetic background on the expression of the resistance fitness cost and none has attempted to measure the variation in fitness-cost dominance. However, both the fitness penalty and its dominance may modify evolutionary trajectory and outcome. Here the impact of Arabidopsis thaliana intraspecific genetic diversity on fitness cost and its associated dominance was investigated by analysing 12 quantitative traits in crosses between a mutant conferring resistance to the herbicide 2,4-D and nine different natural genetic backgrounds. Fitness cost values were found to be more affected by intraspecific genetic diversity than fitness cost dominance, even though this effect depends on the quantitative trait measured. This observation has implications for the choice of the best strategy for preventing herbicide resistance development. In addition, our results pinpoint a potential compensatory improvement of the resistance fitness cost and its associated dominance by the genetic diversity locally present within a species.

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