A survey of soybean fields containing waterhemp was conducted just prior to harvest in 2012 to determine the scope and extent of herbicide resistance and multiple herbicide resistances among a sample of Missouri waterhemp populations. Resistance was confirmed to glyphosate and to acetolactate synthase (ALS), protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPO), photosystem II (PSII), and 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase (HPPD) inhibitors, but not to 2,4-D. Of the 187 populations tested, 186 exhibited resistance to chlorimuron. The proportions of populations with atrazine or glyphosate resistance were similar, with 30 and 29% of the populations surviving the 3× rates. Lactofen resistance was observed in 5% of the populations, whereas mesotrione resistance was only found in 1.6% of the populations. All populations tested were susceptible to 2,4-D at the 3× rate. At least 52% of the waterhemp populations tested exhibited resistance to herbicides from two mechanism of action. Resistance to atrazine plus chlorimuron as well as glyphosate plus chlorimuron was present in 29% of the populations. Three-way resistance, primarily comprised of resistance to atrazine plus chlorimuron plus glyphosate, was present in 11% of the populations. Resistance to herbicides from four mechanisms of action was found in 2% of the populations, and one population exhibited resistance to herbicides from five mechanisms of action. DNA analysis of a subsample of plants revealed that previously documented mechanisms of resistance in waterhemp, including the ΔG210 deletion conferring PPO-inhibitor resistance, the Trp574Leu amino acid substitution conferring ALS-inhibitor resistance, and elevated 5-enolypyruvyl-shikimate-3-phosphate synthase copy number and the Pro106Ser amino acid substitution resulting in glyphosate resistance, explained survival in many, but not all, instances. Atrazine resistance was not explained by the Ser264Gly D1 protein substitution. Overall, results from these experiments indicate that Missouri soybean fields contain waterhemp populations with resistance to glyphosate, ALS-, PPO-, PSII-, and HPPD-inhibiting herbicides, which are some of the most common mechanisms of action currently utilized for the control of this species in corn and soybean production systems. Additionally, these results indicate that slightly more than half of the populations tested exhibit resistance to more than one herbicide mechanisms of action. Managing the current resistance levels in existing populations is of utmost importance. The use of multiple, effective herbicide modes of action, both preemergence and postemergence, and the integration of optimum cultural and mechanical control practices will be vital in the management of Missouri waterhemp populations in the future.
Nomenclature: 2,4-D; atrazine; chlorimuron; glyphosate; lactofen; mesotrione; waterhemp, Amaranthus tuberculatus (Moq.) Sauer var. rudis (Sauer); corn, Zea mays L.; soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merr.