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The Plant cell

Alpha-tubulin missense mutations correlate with antimicrotubule drug resistance in Eleusine indica.


PMID 9490751

Abstract

Dinitroaniline herbicides are antimicrotubule drugs that bind to tubulins and inhibit polymerization. As a result of repeated application of dinitroaniline herbicides, highly resistant and intermediately resistant biotypes of goosegrass (Eleusine indica) developed in previously wild-type populations. Three alpha-tubulin cDNA classes (designated TUA1, TUA2, and TUA3) were isolated from each biotype. Nucleotide differences between the susceptible and the resistant (R) alpha-tubulins were identified in TUA1 and TUA2. The most significant differences were missense mutations that occurred in TUA1 of the R and intermediately resistant (I) biotypes. Such mutations convert Thr-239 to Ile in the R biotype and Met-268 to Thr in the I biotype. These amino acid substitutions alter hydrophobicity; therefore, they may alter the dinitroaniline binding property of the protein. These mutations were correlated with the dinitroaniline response phenotypes (Drp). Plants homozygous for susceptibility possessed the wild-type TUA1 allele; plants homozygous for resistance possessed the mutant tua1 allele; and plants heterozygous for susceptibility possessed both wild-type and mutant alleles. Thus, we conclude that TUA1 is at the Drp locus. Using polymerase chain reaction primer-introduced restriction analysis, we demonstrated that goosegrass genomic DNA can be diagnosed for Drp alleles. Although not direct proof, these results suggest that a mutation in an alpha-tubulin gene confers resistance to dinitroanilines in goosegrass.

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