There has been much debate regarding the potential for reduced rates of herbicide application to accelerate evolution of herbicide resistance. We report a series of experiments that demonstrate the potential for reduced rates of the acetyl-co enzyme A carboxylase (ACCase)-inhibiting herbicide diclofop-methyl to rapidly select for resistance in a susceptible biotype of Lolium rigidum. Thirty-six percent of individuals from the original VLR1 population survived application of 37.5 g diclofop-methyl ha(-1) (10% of the recommended field application rate). These individuals were grown to maturity and bulk-crossed to produce the VLR1 low dose-selected line VLR1 (0.1). Subsequent comparisons of the dose-response characteristics of the original and low dose-selected VLR1 lines demonstrated increased tolerance of diclofop-methyl in the selected line. Two further rounds of selection produced VLR1 lines that were resistant to field-applied rates of diclofop-methyl. The LD50 (diclofop-methyl dose required to cause 50% mortality) of the most resistant line was 56-fold greater than that of the original unselected VLR1 population, indicating very large increases in mean population survival after three cycles of selection. In vitro ACCase inhibition by diclofop acid confirmed that resistance was not due to an insensitive herbicide target-site. Cross-resistance studies showed increases in resistance to four herbicides: fluazifop-P-butyl, haloxyfop-R-methyl, clethodim and imazethapyr. The potential genetic basis of the observed response and implications of reduced herbicide application rates for management of herbicide resistance are discussed.