Association between metabolic resistances to atrazine and mesotrione in a multiple-resistant waterhemp (Amaranthus tuberculatus) population

Kip E Jacobs, Carrie J. Butts-Wilmsmeyer, Rong Ma, Sarah R. O’brien, Dean E. Riechers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Metabolic resistances to atrazine (atz-R) and mesotrione (meso-R) occur in several waterhemp [Amaranthus tuberculatus (Moq.) Sauer] populations in the United States. Interestingly, although metabolic atz-R but mesotrione-sensitive A. tuberculatus populations have been reported, an Amaranthus population has not been confirmed as meso-R but atrazine-sensitive, implying an association between these traits. Experiments were designed to investigate whether the single gene conferring metabolic atz-R plays a role in meso-R. An F2 population was generated from a multiple herbicide–resistant A. tuberculatus population from McLean County, IL (MCR). A cross was made between a known meso-R male clone (MCR-6) and a herbicide-sensitive female clone from Wayne County, IL (WCS-2) to develop an F1 population. Survival of MCR-6 plants following atrazine POST treatment (14.4 kg ha−1) indicated the male parent was homozygous atz-R. F1 plants were intermated to obtain a segregating pseudo-F2 population. Dose–response and metabolic studies conducted with mesotrione using F1 plants indicated intermediate biomass reductions and metabolic rates compared with MCR-6 and WCS. F2 plants were initially treated with either mesotrione (260 g ha−1) or atrazine (2 kg ha−1) POST, and after 21 d of recovery, vegetative clones from surviving resistant plants were subsequently treated with the other herbicide. When mesotrione was applied first, the meso-R frequency was 8.2%, and when atrazine was applied first, the atz-R frequency was 75%. However, the meso-R frequency increased to 16.5% following preselection for atz-R, and 100% of surviving meso-R plants were atz-R. Our findings indicate that the gene conferring metabolic atz-R is also involved with the meso-R trait within the population tested.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)358-366
Number of pages9
JournalWeed Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase
  • symmetrical triazines
  • weed resistance
  • oxidative metabolism
  • glutathione S-transferase
  • detoxification
  • cytochrome P450

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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