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Breakthrough research into how glyphosate resistance evolves might lead to new weed control strategies

| March 16, 2018

Kansas State University researchers have discovered how weeds develop resistance to the popular herbicide glyphosate, a finding that could have broad future implications in agriculture and many other industries.

Their work is detailed in an article that appears in the March 12 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, known as PNAS and considered to be one of the most-cited journals for scientific research in the world.

“What we found that was new was how these weeds have evolved resistance to glyphosate in such a short time. If you look at the evolution of glyphosate resistance in Palmer amaranth, based on our research, it appears to have occurred very rapidly,” [said Mithila Jugulam, a K-State weed scientist and co-author of the PNAS article].

Glyphosate – the key ingredient in the popular Roundup brand – is the herbicide that is widely used for controlling many weeds. But Jugulam notes that glyphosate resistance is becoming more prevalent in many states.

Related article:  Did the EPA and Monsanto conspire to hide glyphosate's health risks?

[Bikram Gill, director of Kansas State University’s Wheat Genetics Resource Center] said the indications are that once a weed has acquired eccDNA, the resistance may evolve as quickly as in one generation.

The research team notes that farmers should incorporate best management strategies – such as rotating herbicides and crops – to reduce weed pressure: “This may allow evolving resistance to dissipate as we know that these eccDNAs and ring chromosomes are unstable and can be lost in the absence of herbicide selection pressure,” Jugulam said.

“Glyphosate has a lot of good characteristics as an herbicide molecule,” she added. “The recommendations that K-State and many others are promoting is ‘do not abuse glyphosate.’ Use the recommended integrated weed management strategies so that we do not lose the option of using glyphosate for the sustainability of our agriculture.”

Read full, original post: KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY RESEARCHERS MAKE BREAKTHROUGH TOWARD UNDERSTANDING GLYPHOSATE RESISTANCE

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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