Implications of climate change for environmental niche overlap between five Cuscuta pest species and their two main Leguminosae host crop species


Some parasitic plants are major pests in agriculture, but how this might be affected by climate change remains largely unknown. In this study, we assessed this question for five generalist holoparasitic Cuscuta species (smoothseed alfalfa dodder [Cuscuta approximata Bab.], alfalfa dodder [Cuscuta europaea L.], soybean dodder [Cuscuta chinensis C. Wright], Peruvian dodder [Cuscuta australis R. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Molecular Processes of Dodder Haustorium Formation on Host Plant under Low Red/Far Red (R/FR) Irradiation


Low R/FR irradiation can promote dodder haustorium formation on the host plant; however, the mechanisms underlying the process are still unknown. In this study, we compared the transcriptomic data during the formation of haustorium of Cuscuta chinensis on host plant Arabidopsis thaliana under low (R/FR = 0.1) versus high (R/FR = 0.2) R/FR irradiation at […]

The tomato cytochrome P450 CYP712G1 catalyses the double oxidation of orobanchol en route to the rhizosphere signalling strigolactone, solanacol

Figure Wang et al 2022-cdde2bc7

Strigolactones (SLs) were initially discovered as germination stimulants that induce the seed germination of parasitic plants of the Orobanchaceae (Striga, Alectra, Phelipanche and Orobanche genera). Half a century after this intriguing biological discovery, it was demonstrated that SLs are actually beneficial for plants, as they induce hyphal branching in arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. Another 3 yr later, SLs were revealed […]

Trans-species microRNA loci in the parasitic plant Cuscuta campestris have a U6-like snRNA promoter

Cuscuta campestris haustorium on Arabidopsis thaliana

We have posted a new manuscript on bioRXiv by Collin Hudzik et al. Key findings are: There is no host-specificity in accumulation of Cuscuta campestris microRNAs; they are induced at a certain point in haustorial development. Almost all of the C. campestris genes that encode trans-species microRNAs have a common promoter element. The sequence and context of this element […]

Weed Research – Special Issue Biology, ecology and management of parasitic weeds: current status and new insights

Edited by Maurizio Vurro, David Chikoye and Jonne Rodenburg. At the occasion of this year’s 16th World Congress on Parasitic Plants (WCPP) in Nairobi (from 3-8 July, 2022), Weed Research is launching a Special Issue dedicated to the fascinating world of parasitic weeds. Submissions focusing on all aspects -from biology, physiology and ecology to management- […]