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Glyphosate behavior was examined in Italian ryegrass plants from Chile that were sensitive (S) and resistant (R) to this herbicide. In order to explain the resistance to glyphosate, contact angles, spray retention, foliar uptake, herbicide translocation, and target enzyme activity were studied. Contact angles of glyphosate solutions at a field concentration were 40° to 45° on the abaxial surface of R leaves as compared to 70° on S. Glyphosate spray retention by R plants was 35% lower than by S plants. Glyphosate uptake by the abaxial leaf surface of R plants was about 40% lower than that of S plants. In addition, in the R plants more glyphosate migrated to the tip of the treated leaves. The target enzyme in R and S plants was sensitive to the herbicide. Based on these and previous results, it is concluded that resistance in this Italian ryegrass biotype results from lower spray retention, lower foliar uptake from the abaxial leaf surface, and altered translocation pattern. The decreases in spray retention and foliar uptake constitute new mechanisms of glyphosate resistance.
Calcium ion in the spray water can reduce glyphosate efficacy. Ammonium sulfate (AMS) is commonly added to the spray tank to overcome the reduced efficacy. However, it is sometimes claimed that ethoxylated tallow amine surfactant (EA) is also efficacious, provided that calcium concentration is moderate (= 5 mM, 200 ppm). On response curves of ‘Plaisant’ barley treated with glyphosate, the presence of calcium ion increased the glyphosate dose needed to obtain 50% (ED50) barley growth reduction. The addition of AMS to the spray tank overcame the antagonistic effect of the calcium ion and restored glyphosate efficacy. EA was less effective than AMS at 5 or 10 mM calcium ion concentration as measured by ED50. However, at 90% growth reduction (ED90), EA was more effective than AMS at the 5 mM calcium ion concentration but less effective at the 10 mM concentration. Hence, at a moderate (= 5 mM) calcium concentration, EA would be an effective adjuvant. Calcium ion decreased the foliar uptake of glyphosate but did not affect the rate of uptake. AMS but not EA restored foliar uptake to values observed without calcium ion. EA increased spray retention, and this probably accounted for the increased glyphosate efficacy at low calcium concentration.
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