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Molecular mechanisms of adaptive evolution revealed by global selection for glyphosate resistance

Gaines, Todd A., Patterson, Eric L., Neve, Paul
Thenew phytologist 2019 v.223 no.4 pp. 1770-1775
3-phosphoshikimate 1-carboxyvinyltransferase, cell death, chromosomes, circular DNA, evolutionary adaptation, gene dosage, germ cells, glyphosate resistance, herbicides, meiosis, plant adaptation, resistance mechanisms, vacuoles, weeds
SUMMARY: The human‐directed, global selection for glyphosate resistance in weeds has revealed a fascinating diversity of evolved resistance mechanisms, including herbicide sequestration in the vacuole, a rapid cell death response, nucleotide polymorphisms in the herbicide target (5‐enolpyruvylshikimate‐3‐phosphate synthase, EPSPS) and increased gene copy number of EPSPS. For this latter mechanism, two distinct molecular genetic mechanisms have been observed, a tandem duplication mechanism and a large extrachromosomal circular DNA (eccDNA) that is tethered to the chromosomes and passed to gametes at meiosis. These divergent mechanisms have a range of consequences for the spread, fitness, and inheritance of resistance traits, and, particularly in the case of the eccDNA, demonstrate how evolved herbicide resistance can generate new insights into plant adaptation to contemporary environmental stress.