In 2006 and 2007, farmers from two counties in Illinois reported failure to control waterhemp with glyphosate. Subsequent onsite field experiments revealed that the populations might be resistant to multiple herbicides. Greenhouse experiments therefore were conducted to confirm glyphosate resistance, and to test for multiple resistance to other herbicides, including atrazine, acifluorfen, lactofen, and imazamox. In glyphosate dose-response experiments, both populations responded similarly to a previously characterized glyphosate-resistant population (MO1). Both Illinois populations also demonstrated high frequencies of resistance to the acetolactate synthase (ALS) inhibitor, imazamox. Additionally, one of the populations demonstrated high frequencies of resistance to both atrazine and the protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPO) inhibitor, lactofen. Furthermore, using combinations of sequential and tank-mix herbicide applications, individual plants resistant to herbicides spanning all four site-of-action groups were identified from one population. Molecular experiments were performed to provide an initial characterization of the resistance mechanisms and to provide confirmation of the presence of multiple resistance traits within the two populations. Both populations contained the W574L ALS mutation and the ΔG210 PPO mutation, previously shown to confer resistance to ALS and PPO inhibitors, respectively. Atrazine resistance in both populations is suspected to be metabolism-based, because a triazine target-site mutation was not identified. A P106S EPSPS mutation, previously reported to confer glyphosate resistance, was identified in one population. This mutation was identified in both resistant and sensitive plants from the population; however, and so more research is needed to determine the glyphosate-resistance mechanism(s). This is the first known case of a weed population in the United States possessing multiple resistance to herbicides from four site-of-action groups.
Nomenclature: Acifluorfen; atrazine; glyphosate; imazamox; imazethapyr; lactofen; common waterhemp, Amaranthus tuberculatus (Moq.) Sauer var. rudis (Sauer) Costea and Tardif AMATU.