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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1983 Jul;46(1):37-43.

Amplification of the aroA gene from Escherichia coli results in tolerance to the herbicide glyphosate.


The predominant cellular target of the herbicide glyphosate is thought to be the enzyme 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphoric acid synthase (EPSP synthase). As a means of biologically testing this finding, we cloned a segment of DNA from Escherichia coli that encodes this enzyme. Clones carrying the gene for EPSP synthase were identified by genetic complementation. Cells that contain a multicopy plasmid carrying the EPSP synthase gene overproduce the enzyme 5- to 17-fold and exhibit at least an 8-fold increased tolerance to glyphosate. These experiments provide direct biological evidence that EPSP synthase is a major site of glyphosate action in E. coli and that, in an amplified form, it can serve as a selectable glyphosate resistance marker.

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