Glyphosate effects on sugarcane metabolism and growth
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Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world. In sugarcane, it is used as a herbicide when applied at its field rate, but it is also used as ripener when applied as low doses. However, the effects of glyphosate on plant metabolism and sugarcane growth are not fully understood. This study aimed to evaluate the metabolic changes and the effects on sugarcane plant growth caused by the application of different doses of glyphosate. Sugarcane plants were grown in a greenhouse and subjected to glyphosate applications at doses of 7.2; 18; 36; 72; 180; 360 and 720 g a.e. ha-1. Plants grown without an herbicide application were used as a control. Plants from each treatment were collected at 2, 7, 14, and 21 days after treatment (DAT) application to quantify the levels of shikimic acid, quinic acid, shikimate-3-phosphate, glyphosate, α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA), phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan. Visual evaluations of plant intoxication were performed at the same time as the collection of plants, and the quantification of their shoot dry biomass was performed at 21 DAT. At doses of glyphosate greater than 72 g a.e. ha-1, increases in the levels of shikimic acid, quinic acid, and shikimate-3-phosphate occurred and AMPA was detected in the plants. Initially, glyphosate caused increases in the plant levels of phenylalanine and tyrosine at doses of 72 and 180 g a.e. ha-1, although a decrease in the levels of aromatic amino acids subsequently occurred at and above the doses of 72 or 180 g a.e. ha-1. The doses ranging from 7.2 to 36 g a.e. ha-1 promoted an increase in plant shoot biomass, and doses greater than 72 g a.e. ha-1 caused significant reductions in dry mass.
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