Response of Alopecurus myosuroides Huds. to varying intensities of acetolactate synthase-inhibiting herbicides in a crop rotation including imidazolinone-tolerant oilseed rape


Herbicide-tolerant winter oilseed rape (OSR) varieties offer the opportunity of using imazamox for weed control, an active ingredient belonging to the chemical group of acetolactate synthase (ALS-) inhibitors. However, ALS inhibitors are used in many different crops and are the most resistance-prone herbicide mode of action. Their frequent application in a crop rotation increases the selection pressure for ALS herbicide resistance in weeds, which has to be considered when designing resistance management strategies. Alopecurus myosuroides Huds. is a frequent and economically important grass weed in Northwestern Europe, which has evolved resistance to several herbicide modes of action. For the sustainable use of herbicide-tolerant OSR varieties, studies on the effects of the different intensities of ALS inhibitor use on A. myosuroides population dynamics and resistance development are required. Two field trials were conducted including susceptible and multiple resistant A. myosuroides individuals and four weed control strategies varying in their intensity of ALS inhibitor use over a three-year trial period. A. myosuroides head numbers, the presence of target-site mutations in surviving plants, and crop yields were assessed annually, and the amount of A. myosuroides seeds in the soil seed bank was determined at the end of the trial period. The results show that the intensity of ALS inhibitor use significantly influenced the density of A. myosuroides and the development of resistance. Under weed control strategy IV (no ALS inhibitors), an increase in A. myosuroides head number was observed due to multiple resistance in the A. myosuroides population employed in the field trial. None of the four weed control strategies was able to control A. myosuroides infestation to an acceptable level. The results on A. myosuroides densities in the soil seed bank were highly variable and inconsistent. Molecular analysis of surviving plants showed a selection of ALS-resistant biotypes depending on the ALS inhibitor selection pressure. This study did not reveal any specific deterioration of A. myosuroides infestation associated with the use of imidazolinone-tolerant OSR in a short-term crop rotation. However, this OSR production system should not be employed if ALS-resistant A. myosuroides plants are present in the field.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7


  1. Anonymus (2020)

  2. Börner H (1995) Unkrautbekämpfung. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Jena

    Google Scholar 

  3. Christoffers MJ (1999) Genetic aspects of herbicide-resistant weed management. Weed Technol 13:647–652

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Délye C, Clément JAJ, Pernin F, Chauvel B, Le Corre V (2010) High gene flow promotes the genetic homogeneity of arable weed populations at the landscape level. Basic Appl Ecol 11:504–512.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Gruber S, Hüsken A, Dietz-Pfeilstetter A, Möllers C, Weber EA, Stockmann F, Thöle H, Schatzki J, Dowideit K, Renard M, Becker HC, Schiemann J, Claupein W (2012) Biological confinement strategies for seed- and pollen-mediatedgene flow of GM canola (Brassica napus L). AgBioForum 15:44–53

    Google Scholar 

  6. Heap I (2020) The International Survey of Herbicide Resistant Weeds. (available at (Dez 08 2020).

  7. Huang S, Gruber S, Claupein W (2016) Field history of imidazolinone-tolerant oilseed rape (Brassica napus) volunteers in following crops under six long-term tillage systems. Field Crops Res 185:51–58.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. ISTA International Seed Testing Association (2015) International Rules for Seed Testing. Vol. 2015, Chapter 6 i-6–26 (30). (Available at

  9. Klingenhagen G (2014) Cruciferous weeds in oil seed rape—appearance and control. Julius Kühn Archiv 443:606–610.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Laufer C, Siebachmeyer M, Gruber S, Huang S, Weber EA, Claupein W (2014) Against the current - clearfield® oilseed rape in Germany. Julius-Kühn-Archiv 443:720–727.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Löbmann A, Christen O, Petersen J (2019) Development of herbicide resistance in weeds in a crop rotation with acetolactate synthase-tolerant sugar beets under varying selection pressure. Weed Res 59:479–489.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Marshall R, Hanley SJ, Hull R, Moss SR (2012) The presence of two different target-site resistance mechanisms in individual plants of A. myosuroides Huds., identified using a quick molecular test for the characterisation of six ALS and seven AC case SNPs. Pest Manag Sci 69:727–737.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Moss SR (1985) The survival of alopecurus myosuroides huds. seeds in soil. Weed Res 25:201–211.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Moss SR (2013) Black-grass (A. myosuroides). A Rothamsted Technical Publication. . Accessed 2020 July.

  15. Moss SR, Perryman SAM, Tatnell LV (2007) Managing herbicide-resistant blackgrass (A. myosuroides): theory and practice. Weed Technol 21:300–309.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Naylor REL (1972) Biological flora of the british isles. A. myosuroides Huds. (A. Agrestis L.). J Ecol 60:611–622

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Petersen J, Krato C (2012) Response of imidazolinone-tolerant volunteer oilseed rape to herbicides and herbicide mixtures used for broad-leaved weed control in sugar beet. Julius Kühn Archiv 434:353–359

    Google Scholar 

  18. Petersen J, Raffel H (2020) Evolution of herbicide resistance in A. myosuroides and Apera spica-venti in German cereal production during the last 15 years. Julius-Kühn-Archiv 464:326–332.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Powles S, Yu Q (2010) Evolution in action: plants resistant to herbicides. Annu Rev Plant Biol 61:317–347.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  20. R Development Core Team (2018) R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. R foundation for statistical computing, Vienna, Austria. Available at:

  21. Ronaghi M, Elahi E (2002) Discovery of single nucleotide polymorphisms and mutations by pyrosequencing. Comp Funct Genom 3:51–56.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Rosenhauer M, Petersen J (2015) Bioassay development for the identification of pre-emergence herbicide resistance in A. myosuroides (Huds) populations. Gesunde Pflanze 67(3):141–150.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Rosenhauer M, Sievernich B, Petersen J (2016) Impact of imazamox containing herbicides on the development of resistance in black-grass (A. myosuroides Huds.) within an oilseed rape/ wheat crop rotation. Julius Kühn-Archiv 452:403–411.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Rüstner WK, Klink H, Verreet JA (2014) Observation around the clearfield® production system in comparison to conventional oilseed rape growing under the special consideration of the existing and developing weed resistance of selected mono- and dicotyledonous weeds under practical conditions in northern Germany. Julius-Kühn-Archiv 447:164

    Google Scholar 

  25. Schönhammer A, Freitag J (2014) Clearfield®-clentiga® and clearfield® kombi-pack: two new herbicides for targeted weed control in winter- and spring oilseed rape. Julius-Kühn-Archiv 443:543–551.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Thöle H, Dietz-Pfeilstetter A, Hüsken A (2011) Statistical approach to predict abundances of oilseed rape volunteers. In: 13th International Rapeseed Congress pp. 312–314.

  27. Tranel PJ, Wright TR (2002) Resistance of weeds to ALS-inhibiting herbicides: what have we learned? Weed Sci 50(6):700–712.[0700:RROWTA]2.0.CO;2

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Wagner J, Belz R (2014) Degree of resistance of hetero- and homozygous resistant genotypes of a target-site resistant blackgrass biotype (haplotype Leu1781) in dose-response experiments with clethodim and cycloxydim. Julius Kühn-Archiv 443:106–113.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Walker A, Roberts HA (1975) Effects of incorporation and rainfall on the activity of some soil-applied herbicides. Weed Res 15:263–269.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Wilson BJ, Brain P (1991) Long-term stability of distribution of A. myosuroidesHuds. within cereal fields. Weed Res 31:367–373.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


The authors thank BASF SE for financial and technical support. Technical assistance by Harald Daiksel is gratefully acknowledged.


This study was funded by BASF SE.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to A. Löbmann.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest.

Human and animal rights

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by the any of the authors.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Löbmann, A., Christen, O. & Petersen, J. Response of Alopecurus myosuroides Huds. to varying intensities of acetolactate synthase-inhibiting herbicides in a crop rotation including imidazolinone-tolerant oilseed rape. J Plant Dis Prot (2021).

Download citation


  • ALS inhibitors
  • Herbicide resistance
  • Molecular analysis
  • Soil seed bank
  • Seed viability
  • Weed density
  • Yield