Basic factors contributing to the rapid evolution and broad distribution of acetolactate synthase (ALS)-inhibiting herbicide resistance in smallflower umbrella sedge L. have not yet been investigated. The objectives of this study were to examine patterns of cross-resistance to ALS herbicides and genetic diversity within and among smallflower umbrella sedge populations in California rice fields to provide insight into the processes contributing to resistance spread. Twelve different patterns of herbicide cross-resistance were found across the 56 populations sampled. The frequency of populations with at least one resistant individual in the North, Central and South Sacramento Valley, and the San Joaquin Valley were 76, 86, 67, and 50%, respectively. Analysis of the genetic diversity of 29 populations using 73 sequence-related amplified polymorphism molecular markers revealed little genetic diversity within populations, with estimates of Nei's gene diversity index, h, ranging from 0 to 0.049, and Shannon's information index (I) ranging from 0 to 0.079. Hierarchical analyses of molecular variance indicated that the majority of genetic variation was partitioned among populations, rather than within populations or among regional groups. No isolation by distance was evident. Unweighted pair group method with arithmetic averages analysis indicated that population clustering was not region specific. The results suggest that resistance to ALS-inhibiting herbicides in smallflower umbrella sedge populations from California rice fields appears to have evolved independently multiple times rather than spread from a single population where resistance originated. Consequently, prevention and management of smallflower umbrella sedge in California rice fields should emphasize in-field strategies that focus on decreasing the selection pressure caused by ALS-inhibiting herbicides.
Nomenclature: Bensulfuron-methyl; bispyribac-sodium; halosulfuron-methyl; imazethapyr; penoxsulam; propoxycarbazone-sodium; smallflower umbrella sedge, Cyperus difformis L.; rice, Oryza sativa L.