Pollen movement between individuals can increase the rate of herbicide resistance evolution by spreading resistance alleles within or between populations and by facilitating the rapid accumulation of resistance alleles within individuals. This study investigated the level of pollen-mediated gene flow between paraquat-resistant and paraquat-susceptible populations of the self-pollinated weed species hare barley. The experiment was conducted in both directions, from resistant to susceptible and susceptible to resistant, across 2 yr. To maximize the potential for pollen flow, individual plants were grown in a single pot. The level of gene flow was similar across years and between genotypes. The level of pollen-mediated gene flow ranged from 0.06 to 0.15%. Gene flow from resistant to susceptible plants was confirmed by demonstrating segregation for resistance in the progeny of suspected crosses. This study suggests that pollen-mediated gene flow will occur in this species at frequencies less than 0.16% and could assist the accumulation of resistance alleles within a population. These low levels of gene flow through pollen movement suggest that cross-pollination over larger distances would be unlikely and pollen movement probably does not contribute to gene flow between populations.
Nomenclature: Paraquat; hare barley, Hordeum leporinum Link. HORLE