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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Development of Sustainable Integrated Crop Management Systems for the Mid-Southern United States Title: Herbicide resistant crops: history, development, and current technologies

Authors
item Reddy, Krishna
item Nandula, Vijay

Submitted to: Indian Journal of Agronomy
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: February 22, 2012
Publication Date: April 10, 2012
Citation: Reddy, K.N., Nandula, V.K. 2012. Herbicide resistant crops: History, development, and current technologies. Indian Journal of Agronomy. 57(1):1-7.

Interpretive Summary: This review briefly summarizes information on the historical background on discovery and development, benefits and consequences of their use, currently available technologies, and future outlook of transgenic herbicide-resistant crops (HRCs). This review also provides information on nontransgenic HRCs that were developed through traditional plant breeding techniques. HRCs survive herbicide treatment that previously would have killed the crop along with targeted weeds. Both transgenic (created through stable integration of a foreign gene) and nontransgenic HRCs are commercially available to farmers. Although several HRCs are available, only transgenic HRCs such as glyphosate- and glufosinate-resistant crops appear to have greatest impact and dominated the market. HRCs are readily accepted in North and South America and are slowly making inroads into other parts of world. Farmers who have chosen HRCs must have seen some economic and weed control benefits; otherwise, the rapid increase in area planted to HRCs in recent years would not have occurred. There are benefits and risks associated with the use of HRCs as a weed management tool. HRCs should not be relied on solely to the exclusion of other weed control tactics and should be used within integrated weed management systems.

Technical Abstract: Advances in biotechnology have led to development and commercialization of several herbicide-resistant crops (HRCs) in the mid-1990s. HRCs survive herbicide treatment that previously would have killed the crop along with targeted weeds. Both transgenic (created through stable integration of a foreign gene) and nontransgenic (developed through traditional plant breeding) HRCs are commercially available to farmers. Although several HRCs are available, only transgenic HRCs such as glyphosate- and glufosinate-resistant crops appear to have greatest impact and dominated the market. HRCs are readily accepted in North and South America and are slowly making inroads into other parts of world. Farmers who have chosen HRCs must have seen some economic and weed control benefits; otherwise, the rapid increase in area planted to HRCs in recent years would not have occurred. There are benefits and risks associated with the use of HRCs as a weed management tool. The benefits of HRCs for weed management outweigh the risks. HRCs should not be relied on solely to the exclusion of other weed control tactics and should be used within integrated weed management systems.

Last Modified: 11/24/2014
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