Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Shaw, David R.

Committee Member

Baldwin, Brian S.

Committee Member

Reynolds, Daniel B.

Committee Member

Dayan, Franck E.

Committee Member

Duke, Stephen O.

Other Advisors or Committee Members

Nandula, Vijay K.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Agricultural Science

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Plant and Soil Sciences


The resistance of Palmer amaranth (PA) and the tolerance (natural resistance) of pitted morningglory (PM) to glyphosate have made these species among the most common and troublesome weeds in the southeastern U.S. since the adoption of glyphosate-resistant (GR) crops. Populations of GR PA (R1 and R2) were identified in Mississippi. The inheritance of glyphosate resistance was examined in reciprocal crosses (RC) between glyphosate-resistant (R) and -susceptible (S) parents (Female-S × Male-R, S/R, and Female-R × Male-S, R/S), and second reciprocal crosses (2RC) (Female-S/R × Male-S/R, S/R//S/R, and Female-R/S × Male-R/S, R/S//R/S). Dose-response assays resulted in 17- to 4old resistance to glyphosate compared with S. Population S accumulated 325- and 8-times more shikimate at the highest glyphosate dose than in R1 and R2, respectively. cDNA sequence analysis of the 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS) gene indicated no target site mutation. Genomes of R1, R2, RC, and 2RC contained from 1- to 59old more copies of EPSPS gene than S; EPSPS was highly expressed in R1 and R/S, but was poorly expressed in S, S/R, and R2. EPSPS activity was lower in S and S/R than in R and R/S, glyphosate absent; all were inhibited by glyphosate. Western Blot analysis confirmed an increased EPSPS protein level to EPSPS copy number correlation. Thus, the level of resistance was decidedly influenced by the direction of the cross. R and S female plants were reproductively isolated and seed were still produced, suggesting that PA can produce seed both apomictically and sexually (facultative apomixis). This mode of reproduction determined the low copy number inheritance, as well as guaranteeing the GR trait stability in the R populations. Dose-response assays resulted in 2.6old variability in tolerance to glyphosate between the most tolerant (MT) and the least tolerant (LT) PM populations. The level of tolerance positively correlated with the time of exposure to GR-crop system. Less shikimate was recovered in MT as compared to LT. Levels of aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) were not different between populations and sarcosine was not present in either populations. Consequently, metabolism of glyphosate to AMPA or sarcosine is not a common factor in explaining natural resistance levels.



Tolerance||pitted morningglory||Palmer amaranth||Metabolism||Mechanism of resistance||Inheritance||Herbicide resistance||Glyphosate||Apomixis||EPSPS||Gene amplification