, Volume 242, Issue 4, pp 859–868 | Cite as

Mutations and amplification of EPSPS gene confer resistance to glyphosate in goosegrass (Eleusine indica)

  • Jingchao Chen
  • Hongjuan Huang
  • Chaoxian ZhangEmail author
  • Shouhui Wei
  • Zhaofeng Huang
  • Jinyi Chen
  • Xu Wang
Original Article


Main conclusion

Field-evolved resistance of goosegrass to glyphosate is due to double or single mutation in EPSPS , or amplification of EPSPS leads to increased transcription and protein levels.

Glyphosate has been used widely in the south of China. The high selection pressure from glyphosate use has led to the evolution of resistance to glyphosate in weeds. We investigated the molecular mechanisms of three recently discovered glyphosate-resistant Eleusine indica populations (R1, R2 and R3). The results showed that R1 and R2 had double Thr102Ile and Pro106Ser mutation and a single mutation of Pro106Leu in the 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS) gene, respectively. Escherichia coli containing the mutated EPSPS genes was tolerant to glyphosate. EPSPS activity in R1 and R2 plants was higher than in the sensitive plants. There was no amino acid substitution in EPSPS gene in R3. However, expression of EPSPS in R3 plants was higher than in glyphosate-susceptible (S) population (13.8-fold) after glyphosate treatment. EPSPS enzyme activity in both R3 and S plants was inhibited by glyphosate, while shikimate accumulation in R3 was significantly lower than for the S population. Further analysis revealed that the genome of R3 contained 28.3-fold more copies of the EPSPS gene than that of susceptible population. EPSPS expression was positively correlated with copy number of EPSPS. In conclusion, mutation of the EPSPS gene and increased EPSPS expression are part of the molecular mechanisms of resistance to glyphosate in Eleusine indica.


Glyphosate Resistance EPSPS Eleusine indica Mechanism 



5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase






Polymerase chain reaction



This research was funded by Special Fund for Agro-scientific Research in the Public Interest (201303022). The authors thank the anonymous reviewers for improving the language of the manuscript.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Weed and Rodent Biology and ManagementInstitute of Plant Protection, Chinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesBeijingChina

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