Adaptation of the parasitic plant lifecycle: germination is controlled by essential host signaling molecules


Parasitic plants are plants that connect with a haustorium to the vasculature of another, host, plant from which they absorb water, assimilates, and nutrients. Because of this parasitic lifestyle, parasitic plants need to coordinate their lifecycle with that of their host. Parasitic plants have evolved a number of host detection/host response mechanisms of which the […]

Plant Physiology Focus Issue on Parasitic Plants


Parasitic plants connect to the vasculature of a host plant and take part or all of the water, nutrients, and assimilates they need to complete their life cycle. Parasitic plants represent a unique model for the evolution of intra-kingdom parasitism with intriguing research questions such as how plants were able to evolve the ability to […]

An innovative model developed using satellite-based data and machine learning algorithms detects the parasitic Striga species within complex agroecological systems

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Information on parasitic and non-parasitic weed occurrence within croplands is vital but is often unavailable to support weeding practices and improve cropland productivity assessments. Until now, few studies have been conducted to estimate weed abundances within agroecological systems from spaceborne images over wide-area landscapes, particularly for the genus Striga. In this study, we attempt to […]

Combining host plant defence with targeted nutrition: key to durable control of hemi-parasitic Striga in cereals in sub-Saharan Africa?

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Open Access, Research Review, New Phytologist, Authors: Immaculate M. Mwangangi, Lucie Büchi, Stephan M. Haefele, Lammert Bastiaans, Steven Runo & Jonne Rodenburg In this review paper we explore the potential of improved plant nutrition to fortify the expression of plant inherent resistance and tolerance against Striga in cereals. Beyond reviewing advances in parasitic plant research, we assess relevant […]

Orobanchaceae parasite–host interactions

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This review paper published in New Phytologist (Mutuku et al., 2021) illustrates recent progress on the molecular interaction between Orobanchaceae parasites and hosts with special focus on the processes during parasites’ germination and infection. It also highlights several genetic factors and hormones in parasitic plants important for sensing and targeting host based on the recent […]

A living bridge between two enemies: haustorium structure and evolution across parasitic plants


Parasitic plants are highly diverse in terms of their evolutionary history, life cycles, growth habits, structure, etc. Even the haustorium, which “embodies the idea of plant parasitism”, varies widely among and within parasite groups. But if we look past conspicuous differences, what can we learn about haustorium structure and evolution? Is there a common pattern […]

16th WCPP postponed to 2022

Together with the organizers, the IPPS Executive Committee has decided to postpone the 16th World Congress of Parasitic Plants (WCPP) to 2022, to be held in Nairobi, Kenya. As Covid19 case numbers continue to surge in many parts of the world, it is unlikely that pandemic-related travel restrictions will be relieved soon, preventing many members […]

Renate Wesselingh is the new IPPS treasurer

Professor Renate Wesselingh (UC Louvain, Belgium) complete the Society’s Executive Committee as the new Treasurer, voted into office with 67 %. Renate graduated as an ecologist from the University’s of Groningen (NL) and Leiden (NL) and gathered postdoc experience in Costa Rica and the USA. Since 2000, Renate is a professor in Belgium, where her work […]

IPPS Advisory Board confirmed

The members of the International Society of Parasitic Plants have confirmed the IPPS Advisory Board with great majority and voted its distinguished members Koichi Yoneyama (Ehime University, Japan), Neelima Sinha (UC Davis, USA), Julie Scholes (The University of Sheffield, UK), and Jim Westwood (Virginia Tech, USA) into office. Together, these members form an advisory body for the Executive Committee for all matters […]