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Allelic mutations in acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase confer herbicide tolerance in maize

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The genetic relationship between acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase (ACCase; EC activity and herbicide tolerance was determined for five maize (Zea mays L.) mutants regenerated from tissue cultures selected for tolerance to the ACCase-inhibiting herbicides, sethoxydim and haloxyfop. Herbicide tolerance in each mutant was inherited as a partially dominant, nuclear mutation. Allelism tests indicated that the five mutations were allelic. Three distinguishable herbicide tolerance phenotypes were differentiated among the five mutants. Seedling tolerance to herbicide treatments cosegregated with reduced inhibition of seedling leaf ACCase activity by sethoxydim and haloxyfop demonstrating that alterations of ACCase conferred herbicide tolerance. Therefore, we propose that at least three, and possible five, new alleles of the maize ACCase structural gene (Acc1) were identified based on their differential response to sethoxydim and haloxyfop. The group represented by Acc1-S1, Acc1-S2 and Acc1-S3 alleles, which had similar phenotypes, exhibited tolerance to high rates of sethoxydim and haloxyfop. The Acc1-H1 allele lacked sethoxydim tolerance but was tolerant to haloxyfop, whereas the Acc1-H2 allele had intermediate tolerance to sethoxydim but was tolerant to haloxyfop. Differences in tolerance to the two herbicides among mutants homozygous for different Acc1 alleles suggested that sites on ACCase that interact with the different herbicides do not completely overlap. These mutations in maize ACCase should prove useful in characterization of the regulatory role of ACCase in fatty acid biosynthesis and in development of herbicide-tolerant maize germplasm.

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Cooperative investigation of the Minnesota Agriculture Experiment Station and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. Supported in part by a grant from BASF Corporation and a University of Minnesota Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship to LCM. Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station Publication No. 19,056

Mention of a trademark, vendor, or proprietary product does not constitute a guarantee or warranty of the product by University of Minnesota or the USDA, and does not imply its approval to the exclusion of other products or vendors that may also be suitable

Communicated by F. Salamini

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Marshall, L.C., Somers, D.A., Dotray, P.D. et al. Allelic mutations in acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase confer herbicide tolerance in maize. Theoret. Appl. Genetics 83, 435–442 (1992).

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Key words

  • Tissue culture mutant selection
  • Herbicide tolerance
  • Fatty acid biosynthesis
  • Acetyl-CoA carboxylase
  • maize