Plant-parasitic plants are fascinating examples of plant evolution. They live in balance with other organisms in natural ecosystems, in contrast to most parasitic weeds that severely attack crops, reducing their yield and rendering agricultural lands uncultivable worldwide. The control of parasitic weeds is challenging because of the lack of control methods that are selective enough to kill the weeds without damaging the crop to which they are physically and biochemically attached. The management of parasitic weeds is also hindered by their high fecundity, dispersal efficiency, persistent seedbank, and rapid responses to changes in agricultural practices, which allow them to adapt to new hosts and manifest increased aggressiveness against new resistant cultivars. This Special Issue aims to address the sustainability of parasitic weed management by presenting new knowledge and emerging technologies in the following fields:
- Biology and physiology of weed parasitism.
- Breeding crops for resistance to parasitic weed infection.
- Traditional herbicides.
- Screening of natural products for the discovery of novel herbicides.
- Biological control.
- Allelopathic crops.
- Genetic engineering.
- Integrated parasitic weed management.
- Technology transfer to farmers. Integration in the socio-economic context to be a functional part of the crop health management.
- Evolutionary trends: changing host specificities, increased virulence, herbicide resistance.
- Ecology of parasitic weed interaction with autotrophic weeds and microbial communities.
Dr. Mónica Fernández-Aparicio
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