Common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) is the most frequent weed in the Carpathian Basin and is spreading fast in other parts of Europe. In recent years, besides the wild type, a mutant genotype resistant to atrazine herbicides has evolved and is now widespread in many areas. The present study demonstrates that the atrazine resistance of ragweed is maternally inherited, and is caused by a point mutation in the psbA chloroplast gene. The promoter 5'-untranslated region and the open reading frame regions of the gene were analysed, and a homology search was performed. Both the atrazine-resistant and susceptible types of cpDNA were present in atrazine-resistant plants, while the mixed presence of both genotypes in the same plant, known as heteroplasmy, was not unequivocally detectable in susceptible plants.