Ecological fitness of a glyphosate-resistant Lolium rigidum population: Growth and seed production along a competition gradient

B.P. Pedersen, P.B. Neve, C. Andreasen, Stephen Powles

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    Repeated use of glyphosate has resulted in evolution of glyphosate-resistant Lolium rigidum populations in Australia. The relative growth, competitiveness and reproductive output of glyphosate resistant (R) and susceptible (S) L. rigidum phenotypes from a single population were compared in competition with wheat. Vegetative growth of R and S individuals was studied in response surface experiments in the glasshouse and seed production was measured using an additive neighbourhood design experiment conducted in pots outside during the normal growing season of L. rigidum in Australia. There were no significant differences in vegetative growth or competitiveness of the R and the S phenotypes. The mean weight of seeds produced by R plants was significantly greater than that produced by S individuals. In the absence of wheat and at tow wheat densities, S plants produced more seeds than R plants. However, at higher crop densities, differences in seed production were not significant. This is the first study to compare components of fitness at key life history stages for glyphosate R and S phenotypes isolated from a single weed population. The results presented indicate important differences in resource allocation during the reproductive stage for R and S phenotypes. Subtle differences in life history strategies may be manipulated by agronomic management to exploit the potential ecological fitness costs of the R phenotype. Further studies are required to provide a greater understanding of the occurrence and extent of fitness costs associated with glyphosate resistance. This knowledge can then be incorporated into models that simulate resistance evolution to design management strategies to prevent and/or contain the spread of glyphosate resistance. (C) 2006 Gesellschaft fur Okologie. Published by Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)258-268
    JournalBasic and Applied Ecology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


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