Few studies on herbicide resistance report data to establish unambiguously the correlation between genotype and phenotype. Here we report on the importance of the EPSPS prolyl106 point mutation to serine (P106S) in conferring resistance to glyphosate in a goosegrass population from Davao, Mindanao Island, the Philippines (Davao). Initial rate-response studies showed clear survivors within the Davao population at glyphosate rates that completely controlled the standard sensitive goosegrass population (STD1). Assessment of potential resistance mechanisms identified the presence of P106S mutant individuals in the Davao population. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of specific alleles (PASA) analysis established that the mixed-resistant Davao population was comprised of 39.1% homozygous proline wild-type (PP106), 3.3% heterozygous serine mutant (PS106), and 57.6% homozygous serine mutant (SS106) genotypes. Further rate-response studies on plants with a predetermined genotype estimated the Davao SS106 individuals to be approximately 2-fold more resistant to glyphosate compared to Davao PP106 individuals. Extensive analysis at different goosegrass growth stages and glyphosate rates established strong correlation (P < 0.001) between presence of P106S in EPSPS and the resistant phenotype. Importantly, no differences in the pattern of absorbed or translocated 14C–glyphosate were observed between PP106 and SS106 Davao genotypes or Davao and STD1 individuals, suggesting that glyphosate resistance in the Davao population was attributable to an altered target site mechanism. This study demonstrates that whilst P106S in EPSPS confers a moderate resistance level to glyphosate, the mechanism is sufficient to endow glyphosate failure at the recommended field rates.
Nomenclature: Glyphosate; goosegrass, Eleusine indica (L.) Gaertn. ELEIN.