Studies were conducted under controlled growth conditions to determine whether differential absorption, translocation, or metabolism was the basis for the differential response of grain sorghum hybrids to mesotrione. Mesotrione-tolerant (‘Dekalb DKS35-70’) and mesotrione-susceptible (‘Pioneer 84G62’) grain sorghum hybrids were treated with 14C-labeled mesotrione. At 1 d after treatment (DAT), absorption was 7% in both hybrids; at 7 DAT, however, absorption remained nearly steady in Pioneer 84G62 but increased to 12% in Dekalb DKS35-70. Translocation of 14C-mesotrione in sorghum hybrids was similar with less than 30% of the absorbed herbicide translocated out of the treated leaf by 7 DAT. A distinct metabolite of 14C-mesotrione was separated in both hybrids at 3 DAT. The amount of mesotrione parent compound that remained in Pioneer 84G62 and DKS35-70 was 72 and 65%, respectively. Dekalb DKS35-70 had significantly less mesotrione at 3 DAT than Pioneer 84G62 did, but the amount of mesotrione was similar for both hybrids at 5 and 7 DAT. Rapid metabolism of mesotrione may help explain the differential response of grain sorghum hybrids.
Nomenclature: Mesotrione; sorghum, Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench. SORBI.