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A strategy to provide long-term control of weedy rice while mitigating herbicide resistance transgene flow, and its potential use for other crops with related weeds


  • Jonathan Gressel,

    Corresponding author
    1. Plant Sciences, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
    2. Assif Strategies, Yakum Science Park, Yakum, Israel
    • Plant Sciences, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.
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  • Bernal E Valverde

    1. Investigación y Desarrollo en Agricultura Tropical (Idea Tropical), PO Box 2191, Alajuela 4050, Costa Rica
    2. Faculty of Life Sciences, The University of Copenhagen, Hojebakkegaard Allé 13, Taastrup, DK-2630, Denmark
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Transgenic herbicide-resistant rice is needed to control weeds that have evolved herbicide resistance, as well as for the weedy (feral, red) rice problem, which has been exacerbated by shifting to direct seeding throughout the world—firstly in Europe and the Americas, and now in Asia, as well as in parts of Africa. Transplanting had been the major method of weedy rice control. Experience with imidazolinone-resistant rice shows that gene flow to weedy rice is rapid, negating the utility of the technology. Transgenic technologies are available that can contain herbicide resistance within the crop (cleistogamy, male sterility, targeting to chloroplast genome, etc.), but such technologies are leaky. Mitigation technologies tandemly couple (genetically link) the gene of choice (herbicide resistance) with mitigation genes that are neutral or good for the crop, but render hybrids with weedy rice and their offspring unfit to compete. Mitigation genes confer traits such as non-shattering, dwarfism, no secondary dormancy and herbicide sensitivity. It is proposed to use glyphosate and glufosinate resistances separately as genes of choice, and glufosinate, glyphosate and bentazone susceptibilities as mitigating genes, with a six-season rotation where each stage kills transgenic crop volunteers and transgenic crop × weed hybrids from the previous season. Copyright © 2009 Society of Chemical Industry