Red rice is a major weed problem in rice production of the southern United States and other rice-producing countries. One hundred thirty red rice accessions from 26 rice-growing counties in Arkansas were tested for tolerance to imazethapyr in seed- and whole-plant response bioassays. The red rice accessions were compared with imazethapyr-resistant (ClearfieldTM) rice cultivars (‘CL121’, ‘CL161’, and ‘CL-XL8’) and conventional rice cultivars (‘Bengal’, ‘Dongjin’, ‘Drew’, and ‘Wells’). Red rice accessions 79, 84, and 118 showed 17-, 48-, and 37-fold more tolerance to imazethapyr, respectively, than the standard susceptible red rice accession (82) in whole-plant bioassays. The imazethapyr-resistant rice cultivars, CL121, CL161, and CL-XL8 were 41-, >177-, and 48-fold more resistant to imazethapyr, respectively than the susceptible standard. The imazethapyr-tolerant red rice and ClearfieldTM cultivars were generally cross tolerant to other acetolactate synthase (ALS; EC 220.127.116.11) inhibiting herbicides such as imazapyr, imazaquin, imazamox, and pyrithiobac. The tolerance level of red rice or rice to imidazolinone herbicides was highest with imazaquin and lowest with imazapyr. The imazethapyr-tolerant red rice accessions and ClearfieldTM rice were susceptible to glufosinate and glyphosate. The ALS enzyme of tolerant red rice accessions was less sensitive to imazethapyr than the susceptible standard, but tolerance at the enzyme level was less than at the whole-plant level. Therefore, tolerance of red rice to imazethapyr may involve other mechanisms besides an insensitive target site. We learned that a few imazethapyr-tolerant red rice populations existed probably before ClearfieldTM rice was introduced, supporting the hypothesis that evolution of herbicide-resistant red rice populations can happen with intensive herbicide selection pressure.
Nomenclature: Glufosinate; glyphosate; imazamox; imazapyr; imazaquin; imazethapyr; pyrithiobac; red rice, Oryza sativa L. ORYSA; rice, Oryza sativa L.