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International Parasitic Plant Society

Welcome to the homepage of the International Parasitic Plant Society (IPPS). The IPPS is dedicated to advancing scientific research on parasitic plants. Our goals include increasing the understanding of these amazing plants, providing a platform for exchange among and beyond the scientific community as well as helping to decrease the crop damage inflicted by weedy parasitic plants.

IPPS seminar series

The IPPS organises an online monthly-seminar series accessible to members and their students. Want to become an IPPS member? See Membership info 

1-Sep-21 Soyon Park (University of Missouri) – Molecular host-parasite interactions
  Nicoleta Muchira and Damaris Odeny (ICRISAT, Eastern and Southern Africa) – What we know about SorghumStriga interactions
6-Oct-21 Thomas Spallek (University of Hohenheim) – Signaling between Phtheirospermum and Arabidopsis
  Immaculate Mwangangi (University of Greenwich) – tba
3-Nov-21 Salim Al-Babili (King Abdullah University) – Harnessing hormones and signaling molecules for combating Striga
  Stephane Munos (INRA, France) – tba
1-Dec-21 Kateřina Knotková (Masaryk University, Czech Republic) – Interactions between parasitic plants and invasive hosts: the experimental evidence
  Emily Bellis (Arkansas State University) – Evolution of parasitic plant-host interactions from gene to continent scales

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Most Recent ‘Parasitic Plant’ Publications

in Google Scholar

  1. Strigolactone biosynthesis catalyzed by cytochrome P450 and sulfotransferase in sorghum A Yoda, N Mori, K Akiyama, M Kikuchi, X Xie… - The New … - pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov Thursday 16 September 2021  … Abstract. ・Root parasitic plants such as Striga, Orobanche, and Phelipanche spp., cause serious damage to crop production worldwide. Deletion of the Low Germination Stimulant 1 (LGS1) gene gives a Striga-resistance trait in sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) …
  2. Некоторые результаты исследований насекомых–фитофагов повилик Cuscuta spp.(Cuscutaceae), проведенных сотрудниками ВНИИ карантина растений ОГ Волков - Фитосанитария. Карантин растений, 2021 - phytosanitary.vniikr.ru Thursday 16 September 2021 Аннотация Представлены результаты исследований насекомых, являющихся фитофагами карантинных сорных растений–повилик Cuscuta spp.(Cuscutaceae). Исследования были проведены сотрудниками ВНИИ карантина …
  3. Differences in seed germination response of two populations of Phelipanche ramosa (L.) Pomel to a set of GR24 concentrations and durations of stimulation S Gibot-Leclerc, M Connault, R Perronne… - Seed Science …, 2021 - cambridge.org Thursday 16 September 2021 Phelipanche ramosa is a major weed holoparasite characterized by a broad host range with a suboptimal development on numerous hosts, suggesting inter-or intra-species specificities. Seeds of P. ramosa germinate after exposure to exogenous chemicals …
  4. CCL01, a novel formulation composed of cuscuta seeds and Lactobacillus paracasei NK112, enhances memory function via nerve growth factor-mediated … IG Ju, SM Hong, SW Yun, E Huh, DH Kim, SY Kim… - Food & Function, 2021 - pubs.rsc.org Wednesday 15 September 2021 Memory decline occurs due to various factors, including stress, depression, and aging, and lowers the quality of life. Several nutritional supplements and probiotics have been used to enhance memory function, and efforts have been made to develop mixed …
  5. [PDF][PDF] Investigation of adjuvant effect of viscum album and aesculus hippocastanum in FMD vaccines E Asar, C Çokçalışkan, T Türkoğlu - researchgate.net Sunday 12 September 2021  … Another potential herbal adjuvant is Viscum album, known as mistletoe. It is an evergreen semi-parasitic plant. Various preparations are used in complementary therapy in diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases and arthritis. Viscum …
  6. A preliminary study on the diversity of pollen collected by stingless bee (Tetragonula aff. minor) in university of indonesia campus area TK Loeis, A Basukriadi - Serangga, 2021 - scholar.ui.ac.id Tuesday 14 September 2021  … Result shows that T. aff. minor collected pollens from 10 taxa of plants; Asystasia gangetica (chinese violet), Caesalpinia pulcherrima (peacock flower), Carica papaya (papaya), Cocos nucifera (coconut), Dendrophthoe pentandra (mistletoe), Mimosa sp …
  7. Identifying existing management practices in the control of Striga asiatica within rice–maize systems in mid‐west Madagascar D Scott, JD Scholes… - Ecology and …, 2021 - Wiley Online Library Monday 13 September 2021 Infestations by the parasitic weed genus Striga result in significant losses to cereal crop yields across sub‐Saharan Africa. The problem disproportionately affects subsistence farmers who frequently lack access to novel technologies. Effective Striga  …
  8. How do holoparasitic plants exploit vitamin K1? X Gu, IG Chen, CJ Tsai - Plant Signaling & Behavior, 2021 - Taylor & Francis Saturday 11 September 2021  … 11 In Striga asiatica, haustorium signaling only commences within a narrow … associated with haustorium development adds to documented evolutionary innovation of parasitic plants … authors thank James Westwood and colleagues for parasitic plant transcriptome resources …
  9. [PDF][PDF] Živalstvo kopenskih podzemeljskih življenjskih prostorov Škocjanskih jam S Polak - Proteus - proteus.si Friday 10 September 2021  … Strige V kraškem podzemlju Istre živi troglomorf- na vrsta istrska pisana striga (Eupolybothrus obrovensis), najdena v jamah Matarskega podolja, Čičarije in Učke … Predvidevamo, da je ta striga v Škocjanskih jamah glavni plenilec bogate favne gvano- biontov …
  10. [PDF][PDF] Parasitism-evoked horizontal gene transfer between plants as a novel trigger for specialized metabolism evolution E Ono, K Shimizu, J Murata, A Shiraishi, R Yokoyama… - 2021 - researchsquare.com Thursday 09 September 2021  … HGT provides an alternative explanation for the presence of sporadic metabolites and likely occurs in parasitic plants such as Cuscuta, Striga, and Orobanche spp. via the … by RNA-mediated HGT, as has been predicted in a root parasitic plant, Striga hermonthica39 …
  11. Push-pull technology improves maize grain yield and total aboveground biomass in maize-based systems in Western Kenya CN Pierre, K Shem, AOM Charles, NM Peter… - 2021 - 34.250.91.188 Saturday 11 September 2021  … Date: 2021. Abstract: Push-pull is one of the sustainable intensification technologies for the control of stem-borers, striga weed and fall armyworm … Striga emergence declined in push-pull systems by up to 100 % and its performance varied with sites and seasons …
  12. Strigolactones (SLs) modulate the plastochron by regulating KLUH (KLU) transcript levels in Arabidopsis F Cornet, JP Pillot, P Le Bris, JB Pouvreau… - The New … - pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov Friday 10 September 2021  … We combined a genetic approach, a parasitic plant seed germination bioassay to test klu root exudates, and analysis of transcript levels of SL-biosynthesis genes in the Arabidopsis klu mutants. We demonstrate that KLU is not involved in the SL-biosynthesis pathway …
  13. VARIABILITATEA UNOR POPULAȚII DE LUPOAIE ORIGINARE DIN CHINA. MORFOMETRIA ȘI IDENTIFICAREA RASELOR (I) C Wang, S Clapco, A Mutu, M Duca - 2021 - dspace.usm.md Friday 10 September 2021  … caracteristice speciei de O. cumana, tipul morfologic III [35], concluzie confirmată și de alte cercetări realizate asupra speciilor de Orobanche [29; 36 … Pentru O. crenata, O. minor, O. cernua și unele specii din ordinul Phelipanche raportul L/l este < 2,00, ceea ce denotă …
  14. Phytochemical Standardization and Anti-Anxiety (Izterab-e-Nafsani) study of Aftimoon Hindi (Cuscuta reflexa Roxb.) on An Animal Model I Ara, MA Kalam, M Maqbool, M Zehravi - CELLMED, 2021 - koreascience.or.kr Friday 10 September 2021 Background: Cuscuta reflexa Roxb is a member of the Cuscutaceae family, and in Unani medicine, it is known as Aftimoon. It is a parasitic plant that can be found growing abundantly on various host plants in India up to 3000 metres in altitude during the …
  15. MULTIVARIATE STATISTICAL METHODS IN ANALYSIS OF BROOMRAPE GENETIC DIVERSITY R Martea, A Port, M Duca - 2021 - dspace.usm.md Thursday 09 September 2021  … The aim of these investigations was to evaluate the efficiency of multivariate statistical algorithms in the analysis of genetic relationships among 39 broomrape (Orobanche cumana Wallr) populations from three regions (Nord, Centre and South) of Republic of Moldova …

Most Recent 'Parasitic Plant' publications

in Scopus

  1. Correlational nutritional relationships and interactions between expansive holoparasite Orobanche laxissima and woody hosts on metal-rich soils Renata Piwowarczyk, Ireneusz Ochmian, Sabina Lachowicz, Ireneusz Kapusta, Katarzyna Malinowska, Karolina Ruraż Phytochemistry, volume 190 Monday 20 September 2021 Plant parasitism by other plants, combined with abiotic environmental stress, offers a unique opportunity to study correlational nutritional relationships in terms of parasite–host interactions and their functional roles in nutrient cycling in ecosystems. Our study analysed the transfer of selected mineral elements, including heavy metals, from s... Plant parasitism by other plants, combined with abiotic environmental stress, offers a unique opportunity to study correlational nutritional relationships in terms of parasite–host interactions and their functional roles in nutrient cycling in ecosystems. Our study analysed the transfer of selected mineral elements, including heavy metals, from soil to different organs in hosts (Punica granatum and Fraxinus angustifolia) and from hosts to the expansive holoparasite (Orobanche laxissima) in cinnamonic soil habitats in Georgia (Caucasus). We also identified other correlated trophic and bioactive effects in the parasite–host relationship. O. laxissima was characterized by a high accumulation tendency for micro- and macroelements, such as K and Ca, and heavy metals, such as Zn, Ni, and Cd. Parasites can reduce the concentration of heavy metals in host tissues owing to this high accumulation tendency. In total, 85 compounds were identified in the examined parasite and its hosts. Despite the distinct phytochemical content of species of the infected host, the parasite produced specific metabolites with dominant phenylethanoid glycosides (PhGs), with acteoside and crenatoside being the primary dominant compounds - ca. 98% of all polyphenols. Polyphenols in parasite specimens that are correlated with Cu and Zn are antagonistic to polyphenols correlated with Fe, Pb, Cr, and Ni. The profile of polyphenols in the host species was both qualitatively and quantitatively distinct from the profile of the compounds in the parasite and between hosts (only acteoside in group PhGs was common between the parasite and Fraxinus host), which indicates the existence of a unique compound biosynthesis pathway in the parasite. Our results demonstrated that the parasite, particularly in its flowers, exhibited higher polyphenol content, antioxidative effects (ABTS-+, DPPH, and FRAP), and inhibitory effects.
  2. Integrated small RNA, mRNA, and degradome sequencing reveals the important role of miRNAs in the interactions between parasitic plant Cuscuta australis and its host Trifolium repens Li Zhou, Qiu Wei Lu, Bei Fen Yang, Lyuben Zagorchev, Jun Min Li Scientia Horticulturae, volume 289 Sunday 19 September 2021 Cuscuta australis R.Br. is a stem parasite that obtains water and nutrients from host plants, with which it also exchanges proteins and mRNAs with host plants. Recently, a study found that novel miRNAs accumulated during C. campestris Yunk. parasitism of Arabidopsis thaliana L. However, the fate of miRNAs transferred from parasite to host plants as... Cuscuta australis R.Br. is a stem parasite that obtains water and nutrients from host plants, with which it also exchanges proteins and mRNAs with host plants. Recently, a study found that novel miRNAs accumulated during C. campestris Yunk. parasitism of Arabidopsis thaliana L. However, the fate of miRNAs transferred from parasite to host plants as well as their targets has remained unexamined. To understand the miRNA–mRNA interaction network of host Trifolium repens L. in response to C. australis parasitism, integrated mRNA, small RNA, and degradome sequencing data were analyzed. In total, 60,824 unigenes were identified by RNA-seq, of which 1,601 were differentially expressed genes (DEGs). A total of 71 known miRNAs belonging to 38 miRNA families and 65 novel miRNAs were identified from small RNA sequencing data and 8,012 target genes were predicted. Of these target genes, 129 miRNA–mRNA pairs were identified via degradome analyzes. There were also eight differentially expressed miRNAs (DEMs). DEG and DEM correlation analyzes revealed 23 pairs of differentially expressed miRNA–mRNA pairs responsive to C. australis parasitism. The most enriched pathways were plant hormone signal transduction, ribosome and plant–pathogen interaction pathways. The miRNA–mRNA pairs in host T. repens, including trr-miR393a–RPS6, trr-miR398b–TGA, trr-miR395a/g–bHLH112, trr-miR395g–GH3, and trr-miRn41–WRKY/MYB, likely play important roles in interactions between host T. repens and parasitic C. australis. These results provide valuable information on the mechanisms of parasite–host plant interactions.
  3. Dwarf mistletoe and drought contribute to growth decline, dieback and mortality of junipers Elisa Tamudo, J. Julio Camarero, Gabriel Sangüesa-Barreda, José Daniel Anadón Forests, volume 12 Sunday 19 September 2021 Rising temperatures and aridification, combined with the stressing effect of some hemiparasitic plants such as mistletoes, may contribute to reduce vigour and growth of trees and shrubs leading to dieback and increasing mortality. This has been rarely explored in pioneer shrubs such as junipers, which are assumed to be more drought tolerant than co... Rising temperatures and aridification, combined with the stressing effect of some hemiparasitic plants such as mistletoes, may contribute to reduce vigour and growth of trees and shrubs leading to dieback and increasing mortality. This has been rarely explored in pioneer shrubs such as junipers, which are assumed to be more drought tolerant than coexisting trees. To test these ideas, we reconstructed radial growth patterns of common junipers (Juniperus communis L.) with different crown cover and infestation degree by dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium oxycedri (DC.) M. Bieb.) in two sites with contrasting aspect and water availability located in north-eastern Spain. We used dendrochronology to study the response of junipers’ radial growth to climatic factors (temperature, precipitation, and soil moisture), an index of drought severity, and mistletoe infestation. Juniper growth was constrained by elevated temperatures and low precipitation leading to drought during the growing season. Infestation by dwarf mistletoe contributed to a short-term growth decline in junipers. The interaction between low summer precipitation and high dwarf mistletoe infestation constrained juniper growth, particularly in the north-oriented wetter site, where hosts presented higher growth rates during wet periods. The negative impact of low summer precipitation on juniper growth overrides the effects due to dwarf mistletoe infestation. Aridification and mistletoe infestation could trigger dieback and mortality of shrubs slowing down successional dynamics and delaying shrub encroachment into former croplands and grasslands.
  4. How to pit weeds against parasitic plants. A simulation study with Phelipanche ramosa in arable cropping systems Olivia Pointurier, Stéphanie Gibot-Leclerc, Delphine Moreau, Nathalie Colbach European Journal of Agronomy, volume 130 Friday 17 September 2021 Branched broomrape (Phelipanche ramosa (L.) Pomel) is a parasitic plant, which causes severe yield losses in major crops worldwide. Due to its broad host range, including numerous non-parasitic weed species, the persistence of its seeds in the soil, and the poor efficiency of available management techniques, broomrape management is complex. In a pr... Branched broomrape (Phelipanche ramosa (L.) Pomel) is a parasitic plant, which causes severe yield losses in major crops worldwide. Due to its broad host range, including numerous non-parasitic weed species, the persistence of its seeds in the soil, and the poor efficiency of available management techniques, broomrape management is complex. In a previous paper, we developed a broomrape-dynamics model called PHERASYS to support the design of management strategies combining multiple techniques aiming at long-term control of broomrape. Here, the objective is to use this simulation model to (1) check the consistency of simulations vs. literature data, (2) evaluate the potential of cropping systems to manage the combination of branched broomrape and weeds, (3) investigate whether weeds can biologically regulate parasitic plants in agroecosystems. Five contrasting cropping systems including different levers known to influence broomrape dynamics were simulated with different weather series. Four simulation series were run, with or without broomrape as well as with or without weeds, to discriminate the individual effects of weeds and broomrape on crop production as well as the effect of weeds on broomrape dynamics. Simulations with PHERASYS showed that delayed sowing in combination with the use of trap and catch crops are promising for reducing broomrape infestation and yield losses in the long term. Tolerating a temporary and/or low-density weed flora in such cropping systems could improve broomrape management because spring/summer weeds could reduce broomrape seed bank by triggering broomrape germinations that would not reproduce. During cash-crop growth, weed contribution to broomrape infection would be negligible. However, these conclusions are only valid if broomrape-attaching weeds reproduce before broomrape has time to do so, which needs to be checked with field experiments for most weed species.
  5. Biological and transcriptomic characterization of pre-haustorial resistance to sunflower broomrape (Orobanche cumana w.) in sunflowers (helianthus annuus) Dana Sisou, Yaakov Tadmor, Dina Plakhine, Hammam Ziadna, Sariel Hübner, Hanan Eizenberg Plants, volume 10 Friday 17 September 2021 Infestations with sunflower broomrape (Orobanche cumana Wallr.), an obligatory root par-asite, constitute a major limitation to sunflower production in many regions around the world. Breeding for resistance is the most effective approach to reduce sunflower broomrape infestation, yet resistance mechanisms are often broken by new races of the pathog... Infestations with sunflower broomrape (Orobanche cumana Wallr.), an obligatory root par-asite, constitute a major limitation to sunflower production in many regions around the world. Breeding for resistance is the most effective approach to reduce sunflower broomrape infestation, yet resistance mechanisms are often broken by new races of the pathogen. Elucidating the mechanisms controlling resistance to broomrape at the molecular level is, thus, a desirable way to obtain long-lasting resistance. In this study, we investigated broomrape resistance in a confectionery sunflower cultivar with a robust and long-lasting resistance to sunflower broomrape. Visual screening and histological examination of sunflower roots revealed that penetration of the broomrape haus-torium into the sunflower roots was blocked at the cortex, indicating a pre-haustorial mechanism of resistance. A comparative RNA sequencing between broomrape-resistant and-susceptible acces-sions allowed the identification of genes that were significantly differentially expressed upon broomrape infestation. Among these genes were β-1,3-endoglucanase, β-glucanase, and ethylene-responsive transcription factor 4 (ERF4). These genes were previously reported to be pathogenesis-related in other plant species. This transcriptomic investigation, together with the histological ex-aminations, led us to conclude that the resistance mechanism involves the identification of the broomrape and the consequent formation of a physical barrier that prevents the establishment of the broomrape into the sunflower roots.
  6. Untargeted metabolomics approach to discriminate mistletoe commercial products Cécile Vanhaverbeke, David Touboul, Nicolas Elie, Martine Prévost, Cécile Meunier, Sylvie Michelland, Valérie Cunin, Ling Ma, David Vermijlen, Cédric Delporte, Stéphanie Pochet, Audrey Le Gouellec, Michel Sève, Pierre Van Antwerpen, Florence Souard Scientific Reports, volume 11 Thursday 16 September 2021 Mistletoe (Viscum album L.) is used in German-speaking European countries in the field of integrative oncology linking conventional and complementary medicine therapies to improve quality of life. Various companies sell extracts, fermented or not, for injection by subcutaneous or intra-tumoral route with a regulatory status of anthroposophic medici... Mistletoe (Viscum album L.) is used in German-speaking European countries in the field of integrative oncology linking conventional and complementary medicine therapies to improve quality of life. Various companies sell extracts, fermented or not, for injection by subcutaneous or intra-tumoral route with a regulatory status of anthroposophic medicinal products (European Medicinal Agency (EMA) assessment status). These companies as well as anthroposophical physicians argue that complex matrices composed of many molecules in mixture are necessary for activity and that the host tree of the mistletoe parasitic plant is the main determining factor for this matrix composition. The critical point is that parenteral devices of European mistletoe extracts do not have a standard chemical composition regulated by EMA quality guidelines, because they are not drugs, regulatory speaking. However, the mechanism of mistletoe’s anticancer activity and its effectiveness in treating and supporting cancer patients are not fully understood. Because of this lack of transparency and knowledge regarding the matrix chemical composition, we undertook an untargeted metabolomics study of several mistletoe extracts to explore and compare their fingerprints by LC-(HR)MS(/MS) and 1H-NMR. Unexpectedly, we showed that the composition was primarily driven by the manufacturer/preparation method rather than the different host trees. This differential composition may cause differences in immunostimulating and anti-cancer activities of the different commercially available mistletoe extracts as illustrated by structure–activity relationships based on LC–MS/MS and 1H-NMR identifications completed by docking experiments. In conclusion, in order to move towards an evidence-based medicine use of mistletoe, it is a priority to bring rigor and quality, chemically speaking.
  7. Changes in antioxidative compounds and enzymes in small-leaved linden (Tilia cordata mill.) in response to mistletoe (viscum album L.) infestation Liubov Skrypnik, Pavel Maslennikov, Pavel Feduraev, Artem Pungin, Nikolay Belov Plants, volume 10 Thursday 16 September 2021 Mistletoe infestation leads to a decrease in the growth of woody plants, their longevity, and partial or complete drying of the top, as well as premature death. Various environmental stress factors, both abiotic and biotic, stimulate the formation of reactive oxygen species and the development of oxidative stress in plant tissues. This study aimed ... Mistletoe infestation leads to a decrease in the growth of woody plants, their longevity, and partial or complete drying of the top, as well as premature death. Various environmental stress factors, both abiotic and biotic, stimulate the formation of reactive oxygen species and the development of oxidative stress in plant tissues. This study aimed to investigate the effect of mistletoe (Viscum album L.) infestation on the response of the antioxidative defense system in leaves of small-leaved linden (Tilia cordata Mill.). Leaves from infested trees were taken from branches (i) without mistletoe, (ii) with 1–2 mistletoe bushes (low degree of infestation), and (iii) with 5–7 mistletoe bushes (high degree of infestation). The relative water content and the chlorophyll a and b contents in leaves from linden branches affected by mistletoe were significantly lower than those in leaves from non-infested trees and from host-tree branches with no mistletoe. At the same time, leaves from branches with low and high degrees of infestation had significantly higher electrolyte leakage, malondialdehyde and hydrogen peroxide content, oxidized forms of ascorbic acid (dehydroascorbic and 2,3-diketogulonic acids), and oxidized glutathione. The results of principal component analysis show that the development of oxidative stress was accompanied by an increase in proline content and in superoxide dismutase, ascorbate peroxidase, glutathione peroxidase, and glutathione reductase activity. Several biochemical parameters (proline, ascorbic acid, dehydroascorbic acid, glutathione, glutathione peroxidase, ascorbate peroxidase, and dehydroascorbate reductase) were found to be altered in leaves from host-tree branches with no mistletoe. This result indicates that the mistletoe infestation of trees not only causes local changes in the locations of hemiparasite attachment, but also affects the redox metabolism in leaves from other parts of the infested tree.
  8. Closely related parasitic plants have similar host requirements and related effects on hosts Diethart Matthies Ecology and Evolution, volume 11, pages 12011-12024 Thursday 16 September 2021 The performance of root hemiparasites depends strongly on host species identity, but it remains unknown whether there exist general patterns in the quality of species as hosts for hemiparasites and in their sensitivity to parasitism. In a comparative approach, the model root hemiparasites Rhinanthus minor and R. alectorolophus were grown with 25 h... The performance of root hemiparasites depends strongly on host species identity, but it remains unknown whether there exist general patterns in the quality of species as hosts for hemiparasites and in their sensitivity to parasitism. In a comparative approach, the model root hemiparasites Rhinanthus minor and R. alectorolophus were grown with 25 host species (grasses, forbs, and legumes) at two nutrient levels. Hosts grown without parasites served as a control. Host species identity strongly influenced parasite biomass and other traits, and both parasites grew better with legumes and grasses than with forbs. The biomass of R. alectorolophus was much higher than that of R. minor with all host plants and R. alectorolophus responded much more strongly to higher nutrient availability than R. minor. The performance of the two species of Rhinanthus with individual hosts was strongly correlated, and it was also correlated with that of R. alectorolophus and the related Odontites vulgaris in previous experiments with many of the same hosts, but only weakly with that of the less closely related Melampyrum arvense. The negative effect of R. minor on host biomass was less strong than that of R. alectorolophus, but stronger relative to its own biomass, suggesting that it is more parasitic. The impact of the two parasites on individual hosts did not depend on nutrient level and was correlated. Several legumes and grasses were tolerant of parasitism. While R. minor slightly reduced mean overall productivity, R. alectorolophus increased it with several species, indicating that the loss of host biomass was more than compensated by that of the parasite. The results show that closely related parasites have similar host requirements and correlated negative effects on individual hosts, but that there are also specific interactions between pairs of parasitic plants and their hosts.
  9. Effect of species environment on host preference of Cuscuta campestris Kornél Baráth Plant Ecology, volume 222, pages 1023-1032 Wednesday 15 September 2021 Cuscuta campestris is one of the most widespread and most harmful parasitic plants in the world. It regularly infests economically important crops substantially reducing their yield. Its host preference has been frequently investigated in natural habitats, but studies have usually been performed at only one site. In this study, I tested the hypothe... Cuscuta campestris is one of the most widespread and most harmful parasitic plants in the world. It regularly infests economically important crops substantially reducing their yield. Its host preference has been frequently investigated in natural habitats, but studies have usually been performed at only one site. In this study, I tested the hypothesis that host-preference studies performed at a single site provide information only about local individuals of the host species and not about the species of hosts in general. The preferential status of host species was investigated in different geographical regions, in different species environments. Altogether 1847 relationships between parasite and plant species were examined and categorized at 171 places in Hungary. The used method took into account the frequency and intensity of infestations on the hosts, the proportion of resource use and availability, the resource distribution as well as the defence mechanisms of the hosts. The frequency and intensity of infestations greatly varied amongst the 174 detected host species. The results confirmed that frequently parasitized hosts of C. campestris are not necessarily preferred. Most host species have infestations of varying intensity in different species environments. Poaceae species were found to differ from each other in the extent to which they support the parasite’s growth. The study revealed also that C. campestris does not always develop haustoria on individuals of those species, which are unable to contribute significantly to its growth.
  10. Image analysis for the automatic phenotyping of Orobanche cumana tubercles on sunflower roots A. Le Ru, G. Ibarcq, M. C. Boniface, A. Baussart, S. Muños, M. Chabaud Plant Methods, volume 17 Tuesday 14 September 2021 Background: The parasitic plant Orobanche cumana is one of the most important threats to sunflower crops in Europe. Resistant sunflower varieties have been developed, but new O. cumana races have evolved and have overcome introgressed resistance genes, leading to the recurrent need for new resistance methods. Screening for resistance requires the p... Background: The parasitic plant Orobanche cumana is one of the most important threats to sunflower crops in Europe. Resistant sunflower varieties have been developed, but new O. cumana races have evolved and have overcome introgressed resistance genes, leading to the recurrent need for new resistance methods. Screening for resistance requires the phenotyping of thousands of sunflower plants to various O. cumana races. Most phenotyping experiments have been performed in fields at the later stage of the interaction, requiring time and space. A rapid phenotyping screening method under controlled conditions would need less space and would allow screening for resistance of many sunflower genotypes. Our study proposes a phenotyping tool for the sunflower/O. cumana interaction under controlled conditions through image analysis for broomrape tubercle analysis at early stages of the interaction. Results: We optimized the phenotyping of sunflower/O. cumana interactions by using rhizotrons (transparent Plexiglas boxes) in a growth chamber to control culture conditions and Orobanche inoculum. We used a Raspberry Pi computer with a picamera for acquiring images of inoculated sunflower roots 3 weeks post inoculation. We set up a macro using ImageJ free software for the automatic counting of the number of tubercles. This phenotyping tool was named RhizOSun. We evaluated five sunflower genotypes inoculated with two O. cumana races and showed that automatic counting of the number of tubercles using RhizOSun was highly correlated with manual time-consuming counting and could be efficiently used for screening sunflower genotypes at the tubercle stage. Conclusion: This method is rapid, accurate and low-cost. It allows rapid imaging of numerous rhizotrons over time, and it enables image tracking of all the data with time kinetics. This paves the way toward automatization of phenotyping in rhizotrons that could be used for other root phenotyping, such as symbiotic nodules on legumes.
  11. Effect of mistletoe extract on tumor response in neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy for rectal cancer: a cohort study Jeong Heum Baek, Youngbae Jeon, Kyoung Won Han, Dong Hae Jung, Kyung Ok Kim World Journal of Surgical Oncology, volume 19 Tuesday 14 September 2021 Background: Mistletoe extract, used as a complementary chemotherapeutic agent for cancer patients, has anticancer effects against various malignancies. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of mistletoe extract (Abnoba Viscum Q®) on tumor responses to neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (NCRT) for locally advanced rectal cancer. Method... Background: Mistletoe extract, used as a complementary chemotherapeutic agent for cancer patients, has anticancer effects against various malignancies. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of mistletoe extract (Abnoba Viscum Q®) on tumor responses to neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (NCRT) for locally advanced rectal cancer. Methods: This study included patients with rectal cancer who underwent NCRT between January 2018 and July 2020. In the mistletoe group (MG), the patients were administered Abnoba Viscum Q® subcutaneously during chemoradiotherapy—maintained just before surgery. Patient demographics, clinical outcomes, histopathological outcomes, and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assay results were compared between the MG and non-mistletoe group (NMG). Two rectal cancer cell lines (SNU-503 and SNU-503R80Gy) were treated with Abnoba Viscum Q® to assess its mechanistic effects in vivo. Results: Overall, the study included 52 patients (MG: n = 15; NMG: n = 37). Baseline demographics between the two groups were similar, except carbohydrate antigen 19-9 levels and tumor location from the anal verge. There was no difference in the clinical stage between the two groups. A better tumor response in the MG, relative to the NMG, was observed with respect to tumor regression grade (TRG), T stage, and overall tumor–node–metastasis stage. Tumor response was significantly better in the MG than in the NMG in terms of pathologic complete response rate (53.3% vs. 21.6%, P = 0.044), good TRG response (66.7% vs. 32.4%, P = 0.024), T downstaging (86.7% vs. 43.2%, P = 0.004), and overall downstaging (86.7% vs. 56.8%, P = 0.040). The toxicities during NCRT were minimal in both groups. More apoptotic cells were noted in MG samples than in the NMG samples on TUNEL staining. Cleaved caspase-3 level following treatment with Abnoba Viscum Q® was higher in SNU-503R80Gy cells than in SNU-503 cells. Conclusion: Patients treated with chemoradiation combined with mistletoe extract showed better outcomes than patients not treated with mistletoe extract in terms of tumor responses. This diversity in treatment may improve the efficacy of NCRT, leading to better oncologic outcomes. Prospective and randomized studies with long-term follow-up are warranted to confirm and extend these results.
  12. Antitumor and hepatoprotective effect of Cuscuta reflexa Roxb. in a murine model of colon cancer Shobhit Mishra, Fahad Saad Alhodieb, Md Abul Barkat, Mohd Zaheen Hassan, Harshita Abul Barkat, Raisuddin Ali, Perwaiz Alam, Ozair Alam Journal of Ethnopharmacology, volume 282 Monday 13 September 2021 Ethnopharmacological relevance: Cuscuta reflexa Roxb. (C. reflexa) is a well-known traditional herbal plant, with numerous inherent therapeutic potentials including anticancer, antitumor, antibacterial, analgesic, anthelmintic, laxative and others. Moreover, the anticancer and antitumor potentials of this herb are ongoing with several trails, thus ... Ethnopharmacological relevance: Cuscuta reflexa Roxb. (C. reflexa) is a well-known traditional herbal plant, with numerous inherent therapeutic potentials including anticancer, antitumor, antibacterial, analgesic, anthelmintic, laxative and others. Moreover, the anticancer and antitumor potentials of this herb are ongoing with several trails, thus an attempt was made to assess the anticancer and hepatoprotective potentials of traditional C. reflexa herbs. Method: The dried ethanolic extract of C. reflexa was tested for acute oral toxicity in the treated animals subsequently their behavioral, neurological, and autonomic profiles changes were observed. The preliminary anti-cancer effects of extracts against 1, 2- Dimethyl hydrazine (DMH) induced animals were assessed through barium enema X-ray, colonoscopy, and Aberrant crypt foci (ACF) studies. The blood samples of the animals (treated and untreated) were collected and their in-vitro histological parameters were evaluated by the experienced technician. Results: It was observed that C. reflexa significantly reduced Disease activity indexing (DAI) level and ACF counting, as well as demonstrated similar activity as of the standard drug 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU). Histopathological results revealed that the apoptotic bodies decreased in the DMH-induced group (group II) during cancer progression while in 5-FU treated (group III) and C. reflexa treated (group IV and V) animals the apoptotic bodies were increased. Inversely, the mitotic bodies increased in group II animals and reduced in group III, IV, and V animals. In the colonic section, DMH-induced cancer assay exhibited significant effects on the levels of hemoglobin, Packed cell volume (PCV), Red blood cell (RBC) counts, Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC), Mean corpuscular volume (MCV), and Mean cell hemoglobin (MCH), and was found to be less in group II animals whereas administration of C. reflexa efficiently recovered back the loss probably by healing the colon damage/depletion of cancer progression. Moreover, compared to the group II animals, the neutrophil count was within the normal range in C. reflexa administered group. Conclusions: In the present study, the major hematological parameters significantly increased within DMH treated animals and exhibited extensive damage in the hepatic regions. Moreover, the histopathological findings demonstrated that the C. reflexa extracts potentially reduced the cell proliferation, with no toxicity. The C. reflexa extracts exhibited impending anti-cancer activity as well as protected the hepatic cells and thus could be potentially used in the management of colon or colorectal cancer and hepatic impairments.
  13. GWAS provides biological insights into mechanisms of the parasitic plant (Striga) resistance in sorghum Jacinta Kavuluko, Magdaline Kibe, Irine Sugut, Willy Kibet, Joel Masanga, Sylvia Mutinda, Mark Wamalwa, Titus Magomere, Damaris Odeny, Steven Runo BMC Plant Biology, volume 21 Monday 13 September 2021 Background: Sorghum yields in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are greatly reduced by parasitic plants of the genus Striga (witchweed). Vast global sorghum genetic diversity collections, as well as the availability of modern sequencing technologies, can be potentially harnessed to effectively manage the parasite. Results: We used laboratory assays – rhiz... Background: Sorghum yields in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are greatly reduced by parasitic plants of the genus Striga (witchweed). Vast global sorghum genetic diversity collections, as well as the availability of modern sequencing technologies, can be potentially harnessed to effectively manage the parasite. Results: We used laboratory assays – rhizotrons to screen a global sorghum diversity panel to identify new sources of resistance to Striga; determine mechanisms of resistance, and elucidate genetic loci underlying the resistance using genome-wide association studies (GWAS). New Striga resistant sorghum determined by the number, size and biomass of parasite attachments were identified. Resistance was by; i) mechanical barriers that blocked parasite entry, ii) elicitation of a hypersensitive reaction that interfered with parasite development, and iii) the inability of the parasite to develop vascular connections with hosts. Resistance genes underpinning the resistance corresponded with the resistance mechanisms and included pleiotropic drug resistance proteins that transport resistance molecules; xylanase inhibitors involved in cell wall fortification and hormonal regulators of resistance response, Ethylene Response Factors. Conclusions: Our findings are of fundamental importance to developing durable and broad-spectrum resistance against Striga and have far-reaching applications in many SSA countries where Striga threatens the livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers that rely on sorghum as a food staple.
  14. CRISPR/Cas9 mediated mutagenesis of MORE AXILLARY GROWTH 1 in tomato confers resistance to root parasitic weed Phelipanche aegyptiaca Vinay Kumar Bari, Jackline Abu Nassar, Radi Aly Scientific Reports, volume 11 Monday 13 September 2021 Root parasitic weeds infect numerous economically important crops, affecting total yield quantity and quality. A lack of an efficient control method limits our ability to manage newly developing and more virulent races of root parasitic weeds. To control the parasite induced damage in most host crops, an innovative biotechnological approach is urge... Root parasitic weeds infect numerous economically important crops, affecting total yield quantity and quality. A lack of an efficient control method limits our ability to manage newly developing and more virulent races of root parasitic weeds. To control the parasite induced damage in most host crops, an innovative biotechnological approach is urgently required. Strigolactones (SLs) are plant hormones derived from carotenoids via a pathway involving the Carotenoid Cleavage Dioxygenase (CCD) 7, CCD8 and More Axillary Growth 1 (MAX1) genes. SLs act as branching inhibitory hormones and strictly required for the germination of root parasitic weeds. Here, we demonstrate that CRISPR/Cas9-mediated targted editing of SL biosynthetic gene MAX1, in tomato confers resistance against root parasitic weed Phelipanche aegyptiaca. We designed sgRNA to target the third exon of MAX1 in tomato plants using the CRISPR/Cas9 system. The T0 plants were edited very efficiently at the MAX1 target site without any non-specific off-target effects. Genotype analysis of T1 plants revealed that the introduced mutations were stably passed on to the next generation. Notably, MAX1-Cas9 heterozygous and homozygous T1 plants had similar morphological changes that include excessive growth of axillary bud, reduced plant height and adventitious root formation relative to wild type. Our results demonstrated that, MAX1-Cas9 mutant lines exhibit resistance against root parasitic weed P. aegyptiaca due to reduced SL (orobanchol) level. Moreover, the expression of carotenoid biosynthetic pathway gene PDS1 and total carotenoid level was altered, as compared to wild type plants. Taking into consideration, the impact of root parasitic weeds on the agricultural economy and the obstacle to prevent and eradicate them, the current study provides new aspects into the development of an efficient control method that could be used to avoid germination of root parasitic weeds.
  15. Theophrastus on the mistletoe in De causis plantarum ii 17, and what it tells us about Aristotle’s Historia animalium viii(ix) Robert Mayhew Ancient Philosophy, volume 41, pages 463-475 Monday 13 September 2021 dc:description

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