Nitrogen represses haustoria formation through abscisic acid in the parasitic plant Phtheirospermum japonicum

Phtheirospermum haustorium.

The availability of nutrients in the environment can have dramatic effects on plant parasitism, for instance, Striga infestations are reduced in nutrient rich soils. The molecular basis for this phenomenon is not well known so we decided to investigate this further with the Orobanchaceae family member Phtheirospermum japonicum. It’s a facultative parasite which infects Arabidopsis […]

ERC Proof of Concept grant to control witchweed infection in maize

Harro Bouwmeester received a Proof of Concept Grant funded by the European Research Council (ERC) for the project LGSMAIZE. With this grant we will test whether it is possible to genetically modify African maize genotypes so they become resistant to parasitic witchweeds. This can be an enormous asset in the fight against witchweed. The parasitic […]

Poll to find best date for WCPP17 in Nara, Japan

The Society and the local meeting organizers ask all members to help us find the best meeting data for the next International Congress on Parasitic Plants, to be held in Nara, Japan. Members can access the poll in the member-only section (login required). We have two candidate dates in June or July, 2024. To find […]

Call for papers: Chemical, Biological, and Biotechnological Control of Parasitic Weeds


We welcome the submission of original research and review articles related to parasitic weed (witchweeds, broomrapes, mistletoes, dodders, etc.) control including, but not limited to, the following themes:• Screening and structure-activity relationship of chemicals• Screening of biological resources and their effects on parasites• Characterization of molecules, such as enzymes, as targets for control• Biotechnological approaches […]

Call for papers: Parasitic plants, people and planet

Over one per cent of flowering plants are parasitic and extract food and water from other plants. They have a profound effect on both natural and agricultural systems. They include evolutionary enigmas, for example plants that grow inside other plants, and ecosystem engineers, for example hemiparasites that regulate biodiversity in plant communities. Parasitic plants are […]

Abdul Gabbar Tayeb Babiker 1949-2022

When I was asked to say a few words in memory of my friend and fellow strigologist, Abdul Gabbar Babiker, I did not expect all the accolades and affection that speakers at the 16th World Congress on Parasitic Plants (WCPP) in Nairobi rightly gave him, even having a presentation dedicated to him. I spent a […]

Center for Desert Agriculture, KAUST, Saudi Arabia

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Our Research Scientist, Dr. Muhammad Jamil represented the CDA at the 16th World Congress on Parasitic Plants He shared the #StrigaSolutions team’s success stories achieved through their Bill & Melinda Gates-funded project and discussed the latest advancements in suicidal germination technology for effective control of the #Striga parasite in cereals. The congress was organized by […]

WCPP16 Poster Prizes go to Japan and Kenya

It is a tradition to award the best three posters at the World Congress for Parasitic Plants, supported by the International Parasitic Plant Society (IPPS). This year at WCPP16 in Nairobi (Kenya), judging was particularly challenging for the jury, as the actual poster presentation by the authors could not be considered in order to ensure […]

Comparative genomics of orobanchaceous species with different parasitic lifestyles reveals the origin and stepwise evolution of plant parasitism

Parasitic plants evolved from autotrophs. Initially, certain autotrophs evolved to be facultative hemiparasitic plants which obtained only water and mineral nutrients from their hosts as supplements. Some of the facultative hemiparasitic plants later became obligate parasitic plants that had to depend on their hosts to complete their life cycles. Then gradually holoparasitic plants evolved from obligate parasites and they completely lost their photosynthesis capacity. In angiosperms, parasitic […]