AHAS Trp574Leu substitution in Raphanus sativus L.: screening, enzyme activity and fitness cost.
BACKGROUND: Feral radish (Raphanus sativus L.) is a problematic weed that has become resistant to acetohydroxyacid synthase (AHAS) inhibitor herbicides due to the Trp574 Leu mutation. An AHAS gene mutation that causes herbicide resistance may have negative pleiotropic effects on plant fitness. This study reports the effects of the Trp574 Leu mutation on AHAS activity and reproductive traits of R. sativus. RESULTS: Eight of 17 feral radish accessions presented individuals resistant to metsulfuron-methyl at 0.5% to >90.0% and all the resistant individuals analyzed showed the Trp574 Leu mutation. Without herbicide selection, the AHAS activity was 3.2-fold higher in the susceptible accession than in the resistant one. The resistant accession was >9000-fold more resistant to metsulfuron-methyl and imazethapyr than the susceptible accession. Under low intraspecific competition during two growing seasons, AHAS-resistant feral radish accessions showed 22-38% and 21-47% lower seed numbers and yield per plant than the susceptible accession. CONCLUSION: This is the first report of fitness cost associated with the AHAS Trp574 Leu mutation in R. sativus populations. This fitness cost could reduce frequency of the resistant allele without herbicide selection.