Evolution of generalist resistance to herbicide mixtures reveals a trade-off in resistance management

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Comont, D., Lowe, C., Hull, R. I., Crook, L., Hicks, H., Onkokesung, N., Beffa, R., Childs, D., Edwards, R., Freckleton, R. and Neve, P. 2020. Evolution of generalist resistance to herbicide mixtures reveals a trade-off in resistance management. Nature Communications. 11, p. 3086.

AuthorsComont, D., Lowe, C., Hull, R. I., Crook, L., Hicks, H., Onkokesung, N., Beffa, R., Childs, D., Edwards, R., Freckleton, R. and Neve, P.
Abstract

Intense selection by pesticides and antibiotics has resulted in a global epidemic of evolved resistance. In agriculture and medicine, using mixtures of compounds from different classes is widely accepted as optimal resistance management. However, this strategy may promote the evolution of more generalist resistance mechanisms. Here we test this hypothesis at a national-scale in an economically important agricultural weed: blackgrass (Alopecurus myosuroides), for which herbicide resistance is a major economic issue. Our results reveal that greater use of herbicide mixtures is associated with lower levels of specialist resistance mechanisms, but higher levels of a generalist mechanism implicated in enhanced metabolism of herbicides with diverse modes of action. Our results indicate a potential evolutionary trade-off in resistance management, whereby attempts to reduce selection for specialist resistance traits may promote the evolution of generalist resistance. We contend that where specialist and generalist resistance mechanisms co-occur, similar trade-offs will be evident, calling into question the ubiquity of resistance management based on mixtures and combination therapies.

Year of Publication2020
JournalNature Communications
Journal citation11, p. 3086
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1038/s41467-020-16896-0
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board
BBSRC Industrial Strategy Challenge
Funder project or codeMultiple Herbicide Resistance in Grass Weeds: from Genes to AgroEcosystems
BBSRC Strategic Programme in Smart Crop Protection
Publisher's version
Accepted author manuscript
Supplemental file
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online18 Jun 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted26 May 2020
PublisherNature Publishing Group
ISSN2041-1723

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