BACKGROUND: In the important grass weed Lolium rigidum (Gaud.), resistance to ALS-inhibiting herbicides has evolved widely in Australia. The authors have previously characterised the biochemical basis of ALS herbicide resistance in a number of L. rigidum biotypes and established that resistance can be due to a resistant ALS and/or enhanced herbicide metabolism. The purpose of this study was to identify specific resistance-endowing ALS gene mutation(s) in four resistant populations and to develop PCR-based molecular markers.
RESULTS: Six resistance-conferring ALS mutations were identified: Pro-197-Ala, Pro-197-Arg, Pro-197-Gln, Pro-197-Leu, Pro-197-Ser and Trp-574-Leu. All six mutations were found in one population (WLR1). Each Pro-197 mutation conferred resistance to the sulfonylurea (SU) herbicide sulfometuron, whereas the Trp-574-Leu mutation conferred resistance to both sulfometuron and the imidazolinone (IMS) herbicide imazapyr. A derived cleaved amplified polymorphic sequences (dCAPS) marker was developed for detecting resistance mutations at Pro-197. Furthermore, cleaved amplified polymorphic sequences (CAPS) markers were developed for detecting each of the six mutant resistant alleles. Using these markers, the authors revealed diverse ALS-resistant alleles and genotypes in these populations and related them directly to phenotypic resistance to ALS-inhibiting herbicides.
CONCLUSION: This study established the existence of a diversity of ALS gene mutations endowing resistance in L. rigidum populations: 1–6 different mutations were found within single populations. At field herbicide rates, resistance profiles were determined more by the specific mutation than by whether plants were homo- or heterozygous for the mutation. Copyright © 2008 Society of Chemical Industry