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Resistance to Propanil in Ricefield Bulrush (Schoenoplectus mucronatus) Is Conferred by a psbA Mutation, Val219 to Ile

  • Rafael M. Pedroso (a1), Kassim Al-Khatib (a1), Ibrahim Abdallah (a2), Rocio Alarcón-Reverte (a1) and Albert J. Fischer (a1)...


Determining the mechanisms of herbicide resistance in weeds allows for the development and implementation of applied management practices aimed to control and to prevent further spread of herbicide-resistant populations in crop fields. This research was conducted to determine propanil resistance and cross-resistance to other photosystem II (PSII) inhibitors in ricefield bulrush biotypes and to elucidate the mechanism of propanil resistance. To this end, propanil-resistant (R) and propanil-susceptible (S) biotypes were selected from field-collected populations after propanil spraying at the field rate, and whole-plant, dose–response experiments were conducted to evaluate cross-resistance to PSII inhibitors and interactions between propanil and the insecticides malathion and carbaryl. In addition, the psbA gene from R and S biotypes was sequenced for amino acid alterations following polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification. Plant survival data indicated the R biotype displayed a 14-fold increase in propanil resistance relative to the susceptible (S) biotype. In addition, the propanil-R biotype also had increased resistance to the PSII-inhibitors bromoxynil, diuron, and metribuzin but was more susceptible to bentazon than were propanil-S plants. Synergism between propanil and the insecticides carbaryl and malathion was greater in the S biotype than it was in the R biotype, indicating that, unlike propanil resistance in weedy grasses, enhanced degradation of the herbicide molecule is not a mechanism of resistance for propanil in ricefield bulrush. A Val219 to Ile substitution in the propanil-R chloroplast D1 protein was identified following sequencing of the psbA gene. This research suggests a single-point mutation at the target site causes resistance to propanil, diuron, metribuzin, and bromoxynil but increasing susceptibility to bentazon in propanil-R ricefield bulrush, a novel Val219–Ile feature. To our knowledge, this is the first instance of propanil resistance in weeds because of a mechanism other than enhanced herbicide metabolism. Tank-mixing bentazon and propanil, where permitted, can control both propanil-R and propanil-S biotypes.


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Associate editor for this paper: Franck E. Dayan, USDA-ARS.



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