Allelic mutations in acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase confer herbicide tolerance in maize

L. C. Marshall, D. A. Somers, P. D. Dotray, B. G. Gengenbach, D. L. Wyse, John W Gronwald

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The genetic relationship between acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase (ACCase; EC activity and herbicide tolerance was determined for five maize (Zea mays L.) mutants regenerated from tissue cultures selected for tolerance to the ACCase-inhibiting herbicides, sethoxydim and haloxyfop. Herbicide tolerance in each mutant was inherited as a partially dominant, nuclear mutation. Allelism tests indicated that the five mutations were allelic. Three distinguishable herbicide tolerance phenotypes were differentiated among the five mutants. Seedling tolerance to herbicide treatments cosegregated with reduced inhibition of seedling leaf ACCase activity by sethoxydim and haloxyfop demonstrating that alterations of ACCase conferred herbicide tolerance. Therefore, we propose that at least three, and possible five, new alleles of the maize ACCase structural gene (Acc1) were identified based on their differential response to sethoxydim and haloxyfop. The group represented by Acc1-S1, Acc1-S2 and Acc1-S3 alleles, which had similar phenotypes, exhibited tolerance to high rates of sethoxydim and haloxyfop. The Acc1-H1 allele lacked sethoxydim tolerance but was tolerant to haloxyfop, whereas the Acc1-H2 allele had intermediate tolerance to sethoxydim but was tolerant to haloxyfop. Differences in tolerance to the two herbicides among mutants homozygous for different Acc1 alleles suggested that sites on ACCase that interact with the different herbicides do not completely overlap. These mutations in maize ACCase should prove useful in characterization of the regulatory role of ACCase in fatty acid biosynthesis and in development of herbicide-tolerant maize germplasm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-442
Number of pages8
JournalTheoretical and Applied Genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 1992


  • Acetyl-CoA carboxylase
  • Fatty acid biosynthesis
  • Herbicide tolerance
  • Tissue culture mutant selection
  • maize


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