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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Why do Wild Oats evolve resistance slowly?

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Wild Oat

Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Why do Wild Oats evolve resistance slowly?

Why is it that we can often kill wild oats (black oats) with grass sprays but the ryegrass in the same paddock evolved resistance to these herbicides years ago? The answer is in the genes. Ryegrass is like we humans – it must cross pollinate to reproduce and it has two copies of each gene (diploid). Wild oat is more like wheat – it mostly self-pollinates (88 to 100% self-pollination) and it has six copies of every gene (hexaploid). A single gene mutation can cause ryegrass to be resistant to a grass herbicide but it will have only a minor…

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