Jonne Rodenburg

New paper: “Fertilization benefits the facultative parasitic plant Rhamphicarpa fistulosa while gains by the infected host Oryza sativa are marginalized”

In this study, a collaboration between Natural Resources Institute & Wageningen University & Research – Centre for Crop Systems Analysis, we demonstrate that the facultative parasitic weed Rhamphicarpa fistulosa benefits from fertiliser application (but only) when it parasitises on a host, both in terms of biomass and in terms of reproductive output (seeds). This contrasts with fertiliser effects on the obligate parasitic weed Striga spp. Fertiliser benefits to the infected host are minimised. We infer that in a R. fistulosa infested (rice) crop, applying mineral fertiliser would not only be a waste, but also likely increase parasitic weed infestation levels in the following season. This Open Access published paper can be downloaded from Annals of Botany here: