U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Document Type


Date of this Version



Pest Management Science 61:258–268 (2005); DOI: 10.1002/ps.1022


Hydrilla [Hydrilla verticillata (Lf) Royle] is one of the most serious invasive aquatic weed problems in the USA. This plant possesses numerous mechanisms of vegetative reproduction that enable it to spread very rapidly. Management of this weed has been achieved by the systemic treatment of water bodies with the herbicide fluridone. At least three dioecious fluridone-resistant biotypes of hydrilla with two- to fivefold higher resistance to the herbicide than the wild-type have been identified. Resistance is the result of one of three independent somatic mutations at the arginine 304 codon of the gene encoding phytoene desaturase, the molecular target site of fluridone. The specific activities of the three purified phytoene desaturase variants are similar to the wild-type enzyme. The appearance of these herbicideresistant biotypes may jeopardize the ability to control the spread of this non-indigenous species to other water bodies in the southern USA. The objective of this paper is to provide general information about the biology and physiology of this aquatic weed in relation to its recent development of resistance to the herbicide fluridone, and to discuss how this discovery might lead to a new generation of herbicide-resistant crops.