How Plants Survive the 'Herbicide of the Century'
Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world for several reasons, including: 1) high level of effectiveness, 2) flexibility in application, 3) large margin of crop safety in glyphosate resistant crops, and 4) safety to applicators and the environment. Glyphosate was used for more than 20 years before weeds developed resistance to the chemical. This relative low risk of glyphosate resistance compared to other herbicide classes resulted in considerable debate on how best to use the technology to minimize selection of resistant biotypes. This paper will briefly review the factors that make glyphosate such an effective herbicide, and then describe the mechanisms that provide resistance to glyphosate in glyphosate resistant crops (GRC) and weeds.