The factors driving evolved herbicide resistance at a national scale

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Hicks, H., Comont, D., Coutts, S. R., Crook, L., Hull, R. I., Norris, K., Neve, P., Childs, D. Z. and Freckleton, R. 2018. The factors driving evolved herbicide resistance at a national scale. Nature Ecology & Evolution. 2, pp. 529-536.

AuthorsHicks, H., Comont, D., Coutts, S. R., Crook, L., Hull, R. I., Norris, K., Neve, P., Childs, D. Z. and Freckleton, R.
Abstract

Repeated use of xenobiotic chemicals has selected for the rapid evolution of resistance, threatening health and food security at a global scale. Strategies for preventing the evolution of resistance include cycling and mixtures of chemicals and diversification of management. We currently lack large-scale studies that evaluate the efficacy of these different strategies for minimizing the evolution of resistance. Here we use a national-scale data set of occurrence of the weed Alopecurus myosuroides (black-grass) in the United Kingdom to address this. Weed densities are correlated with assays of evolved resistance, supporting the hypothesis that resistance is driving weed abundance at a national scale. Resistance was correlated with the frequency of historical herbicide applications, suggesting that evolution of resistance is primarily driven by intensity of exposure to herbicides, but was unrelated directly to other cultural techniques. We find that populations resistant to one herbicide are likely to show resistance to multiple herbicide classes. Finally, we show that the economic costs of evolved resistance are considerable: loss of control through resistance can double the economic costs of weeds. This research highlights the importance of managing threats to food production and healthcare systems using an evolutionarily informed approach in a proactive not reactive manner.

Year of Publication2018
JournalNature Ecology & Evolution
Journal citation2, pp. 529-536
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1038/s41559-018-0470-1
PubMed ID29434350
Web address (URL)https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-018-0470-1
Open accessPublished as green open access
Funder project or codeMultiple Herbicide Resistance in Grass Weeds: from Genes to AgroEcosystems
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Accepted author manuscript
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online12 Feb 2018
Publication process dates
Accepted05 Jan 2018
PublisherNature Publishing Group
Copyright licenseCC BY
ISSN2397-334X

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