Tolerance to glufosinate has been bioengineered into cotton through the expression of a gene encoding the enzyme phosphinothricin acetyl transferase (PAT). Studies were conducted to determine thermal limitations on herbicide efficacy in bioengineered cotton. The 50% inhibition (I50) of glufosinate of the target-site enzyme glutamine synthetase was thermally dependent with the lowest values between 25 and 35 C. Larger values of I50 were measured above and below the 25 to 35 C range. The apparent Michaelis constant KM of the enzyme PAT was relatively stable from 15 to 30 C and increased more rapidly from 30 to 45 C. The two components in combination suggest the aggregate tolerance to glufosinate would not be thermally limited between 15 and 45 C. The thermal dependence of the aggregate tolerance in cotton suggests that glufosinate would not damage the crop over a range of temperatures. This prediction is in agreement with the results of field studies carried out over a number of years, which showed the glufosinate-tolerant cotton to be undamaged by glufosinate over a wide range of temperatures.
Nomenclature: Glufosinate; cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L. ‘SeedCo 9023’, ‘DeltaPine 458’.