High gene flow maintains genetic diversity following selection for high EPSPS copy number in the weed kochia (Amaranthaceae)

Sara L. Martin, Leshawn Benedict, Wei Wei, Connie A. Sauder, Hugh J. Beckie, Linda M. Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Kochia, a major weed species, has evolved resistance to four herbicide modes of action. Herbicide resistance appears to spread quickly, which could result in diminished standing genetic variation, reducing the ability of populations to adapt further. Here we used double digest restriction enzyme associated sequencing to determine the level of gene flow among kochia populations and whether selection for glyphosate resistance reduces genetic variation. Canadian Prairie populations show little to no genetic differentiation (FST = 0.01) and no correlation between genetic and geographic distance (r2 = − 0.02 p = 0.56), indicating high gene flow and no population structure. There is some evidence that kochia populations are genetically depauperate compared to other weed species, but genetic diversity did not differ between glyphosate susceptible and resistant populations or individuals. The inbreeding coefficients suggest there are 23% fewer heterozygotes in these populations than expected with random mating, and no variation was found within the chloroplast. These results indicate that any alleles for herbicide resistance can be expected to spread quickly through kochia populations, but there is little evidence this spread will reduce the species’ genetic variation or limit the species’ ability to respond to further selection pressure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number18864
JournalScientific Reports
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020

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