Chapter 20 - Herbicide resistance: a case of rapid evolution

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Herbicide-resistant Lolium rigidum infesting railway lines in Western Australia. Since the late 1980s, atrazine and amitrole have been transported by rail and used to control weeds in crops. A monoculture of L. rigidum resistant to theses herbicides has developed where leakage from trains has provided selection pressure on trackside ryegrass populations.

Amid young flowers and tender grass
Thy endless infacy shall pass;
And, singing down thy narrow glen,
Shalt mock the fading race of men.
(William Cullen Bryant, The Rivulet, 1774-1878)

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