Determining the basis of herbicide resistance in annual ryegrass weeds

New research led by Professor Stephen Powles at The University of Western Australia, funded by an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Projects grant, seeks to identify the biochemical and molecular basis of resistance to the herbicide trifluralin in annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum)—a serious weed that affects grain production in Australia.

Herbicides like trifluralin make a major contribution to Australian grain production as they enable soil-conserving cropping systems known as 'minimum' or 'zero tillage'. The alternative is to use repeated ploughing of the soil to control crop-infesting weeds, which leads to soil erosion, increased water evaporation, and the loss of beneficial soil micro-organisms.

The evolution of resistance to trifluralin in Lolium rigidum is becoming an increasing problem, and threatens the sustainability of minimum tillage systems. 

With additional support from Nufarm Australia limited, the research team will assist farmers in managing trifluralin sustainability and soil conservation by acquiring a fundamental understanding and insight into trifluralin resistance. This will provide significant benefits for Australian grain production. 


Image: annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum) is a serious weed that affects grain production in Australia.
Credit: Harry Rose, Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0

Original Published Date: 
Monday, February 26, 2018