To date, the only known mechanism conferring protoporphyrinogen IX oxidase (PPO)-inhibitor resistance in waterhemp (Amaranthus tuberculatus) is a glycine deletion in PPO2 (ΔG210), which results in cross-resistance to foliar PPO-inhibiting herbicides. However, a metabolism-based, HPPD-inhibitor resistant waterhemp population from Illinois (named SIR) was suspected of having a non-target site resistance (NTSR) mechanism due to its resistance to carfentrazone-ethyl (CE) but sensitivity to diphenylethers (DPEs). In greenhouse experiments, SIR sustained less injury than two PPO inhibitor-sensitive populations (WCS and SEN) after applying a field-use rate of CE, and after initial rapid necrosis, regrowth of SIR plants was comparable to a known PPO inhibitor-resistant population (ACR) possessing the ΔG210 mutation. Dose-response analysis determined 50% growth reduction rates in CE-resistant (SIR and ACR) and sensitive (SEN) waterhemp populations, which showed SIR was 30-fold resistant compared to SEN and two-fold more resistant than ACR. Deduced amino acid sequences derived from SIR PPX2 partial cDNAs did not contain the ΔG210 mutation found in ACR or other target-site mutations that confer PPO-inhibitor resistance previously reported in Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri). Although several SIR cDNAs contained amino acid substitutions, none were uniform among samples. Additionally, SIR plants treated with malathion and CE showed a significant reduction in biomass accumulation compared to CE alone. These results indicate robust CE resistance in SIR is not mediated by amino acid changes in the PPO2 protein, but instead resistance may be conferred through a NTSR mechanism such as enhanced herbicide metabolism.
ASJC Scopus subject areas