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Title: Biotechnology: herbicide-resistant crops

item Duke, Stephen

Submitted to: Elsevier
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2013
Publication Date: 8/3/2014
Citation: Duke S.O. 2014. Biotechnology: herbicide-resistant crops. In: Neal, V. A., editor-in-chief. Encyclopedia of Agriculture and Food Systems. Vol. 2. San Diego: Elsevier. p. 94-116.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Transgenic, herbicide-resistant (HR) crops are planted on about 80% of the land covered by transgenic crops. More than 90% of HR crios are glyphosate-resistant (GR) crops, the others being resistant to glufosinate. The wide-scale adoption of HR crops, largely for economic reasons, has been the most important development in weed management since the introduction of synthetic herbicides. Of much less importance have been non-transgenic crops made resistant to acetyl-CoA carboxylase- (ACCase) and acetolactate synthase- (ALS) inhibiting herbicides by selecting for target mutations in culture. Use of GR crops (maize, cotton, soybean, sugar beet, canola, and alfalfa) has generally improved the environmental impact of weed management by reductions in tillage, fuel use, and the use of herbicides with less desirable toxicological profiles than glyphosate. Evolution of glyphosate-resistant weeds is a threat to the benefits of GR crops. The next generation of HR crops with resistance to dicamba, 2,4-D, and herbicidal inhibitors of hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase, ALS, and ACCase will provide tools for more diverse weed management approaches in order to mitigate and slow evolution of herbicide resistance.