A SNaPshot assay for the rapid and simple detection of known point mutations conferring resistance to ACCase-inhibiting herbicides in Lolium spp.


R Alarcón-Reverte, Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA. Tel: (+1) 5307542144; Fax: (+1) 5307524604; E-mail: ralarconreverte@ucdavis.edu


Evolution of resistance to herbicides in weeds is becoming an increasing problem worldwide. To develop effective strategies for weed control, a thorough knowledge of the basis of resistance is required. Although non-target-site-based resistance is widespread, target site resistance, often caused by a single nucleotide change in the gene encoding the target enzyme, is also a common factor affecting the efficacies of key herbicides. Therefore, fast and relatively simple high-throughput screening methods to detect target site resistance mutations will represent important tools for monitoring the distribution and evolution of resistant alleles within weed populations. Here, we present a simple and quick method that can be used to simultaneously screen for up to 10 mutations from several target site resistance-associated codons in a single reaction. As a proof of concept, this SNaPshot multiplex method was successfully applied to the genotyping of nine variable nucleotide positions in the CT domain of the chloroplastic ACCase gene from Lolium multiflorum plants from 54 populations. A total of 10 nucleotide substitutions at seven of these nine positions (namely codons 1781, 1999, 2027, 2041 2078, 2088 and 2096) are known to confer resistance to ACCase-inhibiting herbicides. This assay has several advantages when compared with other methods currently in use in weed science. It can discriminate between different nucleotide changes at a single locus, as well as screening for SNPs from different target sites by pooling multiple PCR products within a single reaction. The method is scalable, allowing reactions to be carried out in either 96- or 384-well plate formats, thus reducing work time and cost.