Adaptation of bacteria to glyphosate: a microevolutionary perspective of the enzyme 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase

Environ Microbiol Rep. 2021 Jun;13(3):309-316. doi: 10.1111/1758-2229.12931. Epub 2021 Feb 2.


Glyphosate is the leading herbicide worldwide, but it also affects prokaryotes because it targets the central enzyme (5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate, EPSP) of the shikimate pathway in the synthesis of the three essential aromatic amino acids in bacteria, fungi and plants. Our results reveal that bacteria may easily become resistant to glyphosate through changes in the 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase active site. This indicates the importance of examining how glyphosate affects microbe-mediated ecosystem functions and human microbiomes.