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Key role for a glutathione transferase in multiple-herbicide resistance in grass weeds

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Author(s)

  • Ian Cummins
  • David J Wortley
  • Federico Sabbadin
  • Zhesi He
  • Christopher R Coxon
  • Hannah E Straker
  • Jonathan D Sellars
  • Kathryn Knight
  • Lesley Edwards
  • David Hughes
  • Shiv Shankhar Kaundun
  • Sarah-Jane Hutchings
  • Patrick G Steel
  • Robert Edwards

Department/unit(s)

Publication details

JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
DatePublished - 9 Apr 2013
Issue number15
Volume110
Number of pages6
Pages (from-to)5812-5817
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Multiple-herbicide resistance (MHR) in black-grass (Alopecurus myosuroides) and annual rye-grass (Lolium rigidum) is a global problem leading to a loss of chemical weed control in cereal crops. Although poorly understood, in common with multiple-drug resistance (MDR) in tumors, MHR is associated with an enhanced ability to detoxify xenobiotics. In humans, MDR is linked to the overexpression of a pi class glutathione transferase (GSTP1), which has both detoxification and signaling functions in promoting drug resistance. In both annual rye-grass and black-grass, MHR was also associated with the increased expression of an evolutionarily distinct plant phi (F) GSTF1 that had a restricted ability to detoxify herbicides. When the black-grass A. myosuroides (Am) AmGSTF1 was expressed in Arabidopsis thaliana, the transgenic plants acquired resistance to multiple herbicides and showed similar changes in their secondary, xenobiotic, and antioxidant metabolism to those determined in MHR weeds. Transcriptome array experiments showed that these changes in biochemistry were not due to changes in gene expression. Rather, AmGSTF1 exerted a direct regulatory control on metabolism that led to an accumulation of protective flavonoids. Further evidence for a key role for this protein in MHR was obtained by showing that the GSTP1- and MDR-inhibiting pharmacophore 4-chloro-7-nitro-benzoxadiazole was also active toward AmGSTF1 and helped restore herbicide control in MHR black-grass. These studies demonstrate a central role for specific GSTFs in MHR in weeds that has parallels with similar roles for unrelated GSTs in MDR in humans and shows their potential as targets for chemical intervention in resistant weed management.

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