Park, K. W., Kolkman, J. M. and Mallory-Smith, C. A. 2012. Point mutation in acetolactate synthase confers sulfonylurea and imidazolinone herbicide resistance in spiny annual sow-thistle [Sonchus asper (L.) Hill]. Can. J. Plant Sci. 92: 303-309. Suspected thifensulfuron resistant spiny annual sow-thistle was identified near Colfax, Washington, in two fields with a winter wheat and lentil rotation. Therefore, studies were conducted to examine resistance of spiny annual sow-thistle to thifensulfuron and cross-resistance to other acetolactate synthase inhibitors and to determine the physiological and molecular basis for herbicide resistance. Whole-plant bioassay confirmed that the biotype was highly resistant to the sulfonylurea (SU) herbicides, thifensulfuron, metsulfuron, and prosulfuron. The resistant (R) biotype was also highly resistant to the imidazolinone (IMI) herbicides, imazamox and imazethapyr. An in vivo acetolactate synthase (ALS) assay indicated that the concentrations of SU and IMI herbicides required for 50% inhibition (I50) were more than 10 times greater for R biotype compared with susceptible (S) biotype. Analysis of the nucleotide and predicted amino acid sequences for ALS genes demonstrated a single-point mutation from C to T at the als1 gene, conferring the substitution of the amino acid leucine for proline in the R biotype at position197. The results of this research indicate that the resistance of spiny annual sow-thistle to SU and IMI herbicides is due to on altered target site and caused by a point mutation in the als1 gene.
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