The discovery of new glyphosate- and other herbicide-resistance transgenes is providing more weed management options to growers of crops, according to a report published in Weed Science.

Glyphosate-resistant crops are grown worldwide and have been associated with effective weed control, increased profits and less need for tillage. Low prices for glyphosate have further encouraged its use.

Soybeans, corn, cotton and canola are some of the glyphosate-resistant crops that have been grown commercially.

Glyphosate has a long history of helping crop growers manage weeds. This herbicide kills weeds but not crops that are resistant to it. Over time, however, weeds have evolved to develop their own resistance to glyphosate. To ensure the continued use of glyphosate and to broaden the scope of weed-management techniques, researchers are using new transgenes to create crops that are resistant to multiple herbicides.

The author presents an extensive historical review of glyphosate-resistant crops and explains current efforts focusing on the development of new glyphosate transgenic traits. In addition, the author discusses how resistance traits in other herbicides are being combined with those of glyphosate to provide growers with more diverse weed-management systems. The idea is to combine resistance genes of various herbicides in molecular stacks and use them to develop more resilient crops.

Researchers are confident that the evolution of glyphosate-resistant crop technology will meet grower demands for more diverse weed-management systems and that this technology will lead to the commercialization of more herbicide-resistant crops.

To read the entire study, Evolution of Glyphosate-Resistant Crop Technology, (Vol. 57, Issue 1:108-117, 2009); visit http://www.allenpress.com/pdf/WEES_57.1_108_117.pdf.

About Weed Science
Weed Science is a journal of the Weed Science Society of America, a non-profit professional society that promotes research, education and Extension outreach activities related to weeds; provides science-based information to the public and policy makers; and fosters awareness of weeds and their impacts on managed and natural ecosystems. For more information, visit http://www.wssa.net/.