Plant Science Innovation, Center for


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Published in Science 316 (May 25, 2007), pp. 1185–1188; doi 10.1126/science.1141596 Copyright © 2007 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Used by permission.


The advent of biotechnology-derived, herbicide-resistant crops has revolutionized farming practices in many countries. Facile, highly effective, environmentally sound, and profitable weed control methods have been rapidly adopted by crop producers who value the benefits associated with biotechnology-derived weed management traits. But a rapid rise in the populations of several troublesome weeds that are tolerant or resistant to herbicides currently used in conjunction with herbicide-resistant crops may signify that the useful lifetime of these economically important weed management traits will be cut short. We describe the development of soybean and other broadleaf plant species resistant to dicamba, a widely used, inexpensive, and environmentally safe herbicide. The dicamba resistance technology will augment current herbicide resistance technologies and extend their effective lifetime. Attributes of both nuclear- and chloroplast- encoded dicamba resistance genes that affect the potency and expected durability of the herbicide resistance trait are examined.