Acetohydroxy acid synthase (AHAS) is an essential enzyme for many organisms as it catalyzes the first step in the biosynthesis of the branched-chain amino acids valine, isoleucine, and leucine. The enzyme is under allosteric control by these amino acids. It is also inhibited by several classes of herbicides, such as the sulfonylureas, imidazolinones and triazolopyrimidines, that are believed to bind to a relic quinone-binding site. In this study, a mutant allele of AHAS3 responsible for sulfonylurea resistance in a Brassica napus cell line was isolated. Sequence analyses predicted a single amino acid change (557 Trp-->Leu) within a conserved region of AHAS. Expression in transgenic plants conferred strong resistance to the three classes of herbicides, revealing a single site essential for the binding of all the herbicide classes. The mutation did not appear to affect feedback inhibition by the branched-chain amino acids in plants.