Key message: A frame shift invoked by a single-base deletion in the gene encoding a cytochrome P450 hydroxylase, CYP81E22, causes the loss of bentazon detoxification function in soybean. Abstract: Bentazon is an effective herbicide in soybean cultivation applied at post-emergence stages for control of several broadleaf weeds. However, some soybean cultivars are highly sensitive to bentazon and are killed upon application. In this study, the gene related to the high sensitivity of soybean cultivars to bentazon was mapped to chromosome 16, and its location was narrowed down to a 257-kb region where three cytochrome P450 genes were located. In these genes, a single-base deletion of cytosine was detected in the coding region of Glyma.16G149300, CYP81E22, at + 1465 bp downstream from the translation start codon, leading to a frame shift in the open reading frame and creating a premature stop codon. This stop codon resulted in the loss of more than half of the P450, and consequently, the remaining molecule failed to form a functioning protein. This single-base deletion was common among the highly sensitive cultivars screened from the soybean mini-core collection and other previously reported highly sensitive cultivars. Furthermore, we screened plant lines from the targeting-induced local lesions in genomes library of the soybean cultivar Enrei based on a modelled 3D structure of CYP81E22. The lines with mutations in Glyma.16G149300 were highly sensitive to bentazon, which provides strong evidence that Glyma.16G149300 is the gene responsible for high sensitivity to bentazon.
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