Distribution, frequency and molecular basis of clethodim and quizalofop resistance in brome grass (Bromus diandrus)


Brome grass (Bromus diandrus Roth) is prevalent in the southern and western cropping regions of Australia, where it causes significant economic damage. A targeted herbicide resistance survey was conducted in 2020 by collecting brome grass populations from 40 farms in Western Australia and subjecting these samples to comprehensive herbicide screening. One sample (population 172-20), from a field that had received 12 applications of clethodim over 20 years of continuous cropping, was found to be highly resistant to the acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACCase)-inhibiting herbicides clethodim and quizalofop, and so the molecular basis of resistance was investigated.


All 31 individuals examined from population 172-20 carried the same resistance-endowing point mutation causing an aspartate-to-glycine substitution at position 2078 in the translated ACCase protein sequence. A wild-type susceptible population and the resistant population had similar expression levels of plastidic ACCase genes. The level of resistance to quizalofop, either standalone or in mixture with clethodim, in population 172-20 was lower under cooler growing conditions.


Target-site resistance to ACCase-inhibiting herbicides, conferred by one ACCase mutation, was selected in all tested brome plants infesting a field with a history of repeated clethodim use. This mutation appears to have been fixed in the infesting population. Notably, clethodim resistance in this population was not detected by the farmer, and a high future incidence of quizalofop resistance is anticipated. Herbicide resistance testing is essential for the detection of evolving weed resistance issues and to inform effective management strategies.

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Keywords: brome grass, clethodim, clethodim resistance, herbicide resistance, herbicide resistance testing, quizalofop, quizalofop resistance

Publication Year: 2024

Authors: Roberto Busi, Danica Goggin, Nicholas McKenna, Candy Taylor, Fabian Runge, Shagheyegh Mehravi, Aimone Porri, Jacqueline Batley, Ken Flower

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