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US study links gene amplification to glyphosate resistance

US researchers at Kansas State University have shown that glyphosate-resistant kochia (Kochia scoparia) plants have multiple copies of a gene targeted by glyphosate herbicide and that the number of copies is linked to the level of resistance. Using an innovative technique called fluorescence in situ hybridisation, the researchers showed that glyphosate-resistant kochia had duplicated several copies of the gene coding for 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS) at a single locus on one pair of chromosomes. Kochia plants with 9-12 EPSPS copies could survive twice the recommended rate of glyphosate, while a plant with 16 copies could withstand six times that rate.

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