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Title: An Overview of Rice Cultivation in Spain and the Management of Herbicide-Resistant Weeds
Authors: Gómez de Barreda, Diego
Pardo Sanclemente, Gabriel
Osca, José María
Catala Forner, Mar
Consola, Silvia
Garnica, Irache
López Martínez, Nuria
Palmerín, José Antonio
Osuna, María Dolores
Issue Date: 2021
Citation: Agronomy, vol. 11, num. 6, (2021)
Abstract: Spain is the second highest rice-producing country in the European Union, with approximately 105,000 ha used to grow this crop. The major rice-producing regions in Spain are Andalusia, Extremadura, Catalonia, and Valencia, followed by Aragon and Navarre. The main soil texture throughout Spanish rice areas is silty clay loam, with alkaline soils (pH > 7.5)—except in the Extremadura area (pH = 5.5–6)—and a low organic matter content. Water quality in terms of salinity is acceptable, although in some coastal rice areas salinity issues occasionally appear to be a determining factor for high yield achievement. According to a survey carried out on farmers and technicians, the most problematic weeds found in rice crops today in Spain are Echinochloa spp., Leptochloa spp., and Cyperus difformis. Most of the currently authorized herbicides can be classified according to two modes of action: ALS-inhibiting and ACCase-inhibiting. Repeated field applications of herbicides with the same mode of action have resulted in the selection of herbicide-resistant weeds. At present, resistance has been confirmed in different regions of Spain to ALS inhibitors in Echinochloa spp., Leptochloa spp., and Cyperus difformis, and to ACCase inhibitors in Echinochloa spp. and Leptochloa spp. The mechanism of resistance in these species is a mutation in the target site of these herbicides. Several mutations have been found in the ALS gene, both in Echinochloa spp. and Cyperus difformis, distributed in the different rice-growing regions considered in this work. ACCase gene mutations have been mainly found in Leptochloa spp. individuals from Extremadura and Valencia. These different mutations have resulted in different patterns of cross-resistance to ALS- and ACCase-inhibiting herbicides. It is likely that the repeated use of these two modes of action in rice will result in the evolution of more resistant weed populations. The possible availability of new herbicides with alternative modes of action in a short space of time seems very limited, suggesting the need for a more appropriate use of the available alternative strategies (crop rotation, dry sowing, manual weeding, etc.). This work presents a review of the main characteristics of rice cultivation in Spain, emphasizing the current problems in this crop and the management of herbicide-resistant weeds.
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