Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

A high diversity of mechanisms endows ALS-inhibiting herbicide resistance in the invasive common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.).

Abstract

Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. (common ragweed) is a globally invasive, allergenic, troublesome arable weed. ALS-inhibiting herbicides are broadly used in Europe to control ragweed in agricultural fields. Recently, ineffective treatments were reported in France. Target site resistance (TSR), the only resistance mechanism described so far for ragweed, was sought using high-throughput genotyping-by-sequencing in 213 field populations randomly sampled based on ragweed presence. Additionally, non-target site resistance (NTSR) was sought and its prevalence compared with that of TSR in 43 additional field populations where ALS inhibitor failure was reported, using herbicide sensitivity bioassay coupled with ALS gene Sanger sequencing. Resistance was identified in 46 populations and multiple, independent resistance evolution demonstrated across France. We revealed an unsuspected diversity of ALS alleles underlying resistance (9 amino-acid substitutions involved in TSR detected across 24 populations). Remarkably, NTSR was ragweed major type of resistance to ALS inhibitors. NTSR was present in 70.5% of the resistant plants and 74.1% of the fields harbouring resistance. A variety of NTSR mechanisms endowing different resistance patterns evolved across populations. Our study provides novel data on ragweed resistance to herbicides, and emphasises that local resistance management is as important as mitigating gene flow from populations where resistance has arisen.