Glyphosate is the most important herbicide globally, and horseweed (Conyza canadensis
) has been one of the most commonly encountered weed species that has developed resistance to it in various parts of the world, including Greece. After glyphosate application, horseweed populations show a wide range of phenotypic plasticity in response to selection pressure. In previous work, we have proposed a herbicide resistance mechanism that is not due to a point mutation at the codon 106 of EPSP synthase but most likely due to a synchronized overexpression of EPSPS
and the ABC
transporter genes. In the current study, it is hypothesized that the observed phenotypic alterations and differential expression of the EPSPS
gene could be attributed to epigenetic changes. DNA methylation plays a pivotal role in many biological procedures such as gene expression, differentiation, and cellular proliferation. Sodium bisulfite sequencing was used to detect epigenetic changes that occur at the C5 position of cytosine residues within CpGdi nucleotides in two horseweed populations (resistant vs. susceptible). Results show differential methylation pattern between the two populations. This work will elucidate the naturally increased resistance of C. Canadensis
to glyphosate and set the bases for future development of techniques that restrict weed resistance to herbicides.
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