Glyphosate-resistant populations of Conyza canadensis have been spreading at a rapid rate in Ontario, Canada, since first being documented in 2010. Determining the genetic relationship among existing Ontario populations is necessary to understand the spread and selection of the resistant biotypes. The objectives of this study were to: (1) characterize the genetic variation of C. canadensis accessions from the province of Ontario using simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers and (2) investigate the molecular mechanism (s) conferring resistance in these accessions. Ninetyeight C. canadensis accessions were genotyped using 8 SSR markers. Germinable accessions were challenged with glyphosate to determine their dose response, and the sequences of 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase genes 1 and 2 were obtained. Results indicate that a majority of glyphosate-resistant accessions from Ontario possessed a proline to serine substitution at position 106, which has previously been reported to confer glyphosate resistance in other crop and weed species. Accessions possessing this substitution demonstrated notably higher levels of resistance than non-target site resistant (NTSR) accessions from within or outside the growing region and were observed to form a subpopulation genetically distinct from geographically proximate glyphosate-susceptible and NTSR accessions. Although it is unclear whether other non-target site resistance mechanisms are contributing to the levels of resistance observed in target-site resistant accessions, these results indicate that, at a minimum, selection for Pro-106-Ser has occurred in addition to selection for non-target site resistance and has significantly enhanced the levels of resistance to glyphosate in C. canadensis accessions from Ontario.
Nomenclature: Glyphosate; Conyza canadensis (L.) Cronq. ERICA