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Ecotoxicology. 2015 Jul;24(5):1014-27. doi: 10.1007/s10646-015-1442-8. Epub 2015 Mar 28.

Glyphosate and dicamba herbicide tank mixture effects on native plant and non-genetically engineered soybean seedlings.

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US Environmental Protection Agency National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Western Ecology Division, 200 SW 35th Street, Corvallis, OR, 97333, USA,


Crops engineered to contain genes for tolerance to multiple herbicides may be treated with several herbicides to manage weeds resistant to each herbicide. Thus, nearby non-target plants may be subjected to increased exposure to several herbicides used in combination. Of particular concern are native plants, as well as adjacent crops which have not been genetically engineered for tolerance to herbicides. We evaluated responses of seven species of native plants grown in a greenhouse and treated less than field application rates of glyphosate and/or dicamba: Andropogon gerardii, Asclepias syriaca, Eutrochium purpureum, Oenothera biennis, Polyganum lapathifolium, Solidago canadensis and Tridens flavus, and non-herbicide resistant soybean (Glycine max, Oregon line M4). Herbicide concentrations were 0.03 or 0.1 × field application rates of 1122 g ha(-1) active ingredient (a.i) (831 g ha(-1) acid glyphosate) for glyphosate and 562 g ha(-1) a.i. for dicamba. In general, plant growth responses to combinations of glyphosate and dicamba were less than the sum of growth responses to the individual herbicides (i.e., antagonistic effect), primarily when one or both herbicides alone caused a large reduction in growth. E. purpureum, P. lapathifolium and S. canadensis were the most sensitive species to both herbicides, while A. gerardii was the most tolerant, with no response to either herbicide. The combinations of herbicides resulted in responses most similar to that from dicamba alone for G. max and from glyphosate alone for T. flavus. The results of this study indicated the need for more data such as effects on native plants in the field to assess risks to non-target plants from combinations of herbicides.

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