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J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Aug 11;52(16):5139-43.

Aminomethylphosphonic acid, a metabolite of glyphosate, causes injury in glyphosate-treated, glyphosate-resistant soybean.

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Southern Weed Science Research Unit, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 350, Stoneville, Mississippi 38776, USA.


Glyphosate-resistant (GR) soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] was developed by stable integration of a foreign gene that codes insensitive enzyme 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase, an enzyme in the shikimate pathway, the target pathway of glyphosate. Application of glyphosate to GR soybean results in injury under certain conditions. It was hypothesized that if GR soybean is completely resistant to the glyphosate, injury could be caused by a metabolite of glyphosate, aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), a known phytotoxin. Glyphosate and AMPA effects on one- to two-trifoliolate leaf stage (16-18-days old) GR and non-GR soybean were examined in the greenhouse. In GR soybean, a single application of glyphosate-isopropylammonium (1.12-13.44 kg/ha) with 0.5% Tween 20 did not significantly reduce the chlorophyll content of the second trifoliolate leaf at 7 days after treatment (DAT) or the shoot dry weight at 14 DAT compared with Tween 20 alone. A single application of AMPA (0.12-8.0 kg/ha) with 0.5% Tween 20 reduced the chlorophyll content of the second trifoliolate leaf by 0-52% at 4 DAT and reduced shoot fresh weight by 0-42% at 14 DAT in both GR and non-GR soybeans compared with Tween 20 alone. AMPA at 0.12 and 0.50 kg/ha produced injury in GR and non-GR soybean, respectively, similar to that caused by glyphosate-isopropylammonium at 13.44 kg/ha in GR soybean. AMPA levels found in AMPA-treated soybean of both types and in glyphosate-treated GR soybean correlated similarly with phytotoxicity. These results suggest that soybean injury to GR soybean from glyphosate is due to AMPA formed from glyphosate degradation.

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