The experimental evolution of herbicide resistance in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii results in a positive correlation between fitness in the presence and absence of herbicides

T. Vogwill, M. Lagator, N. Colegrave, P. Neve

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Pleiotropic fitness trade-offs will be key determinants of the evolutionary dynamics of selection for pesticide resistance. However, for herbicide resistance, empirical support for a fitness cost of resistance is mixed, and it is therefore also questionable what further ecological trade-offs can be assumed to apply to herbicide resistance. Here, we test the existence of trade-offs by experimentally evolving herbicide resistance in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Although fitness costs are detected for all herbicides, we find that, counterintuitively, the most resistant populations also have the lowest fitness costs as measured by growth rate in the ancestral environment. Furthermore, after controlling for differences in the evolutionary dynamics of resistance to different herbicides, we also detect significant positive correlations between resistance, fitness in the ancestral environment and cross-resistance to other herbicides. We attribute this to the highest levels of nontarget-site resistance being achieved by fixing mutations that more broadly affect cellular physiology, which results in both more cross-resistance and less overall antagonistic pleiotropy on maximum growth rate. Consequently, the lack of classical ecological trade-offs could present a major challenge for herbicide resistance management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1955-1964
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume25
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012

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