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

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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 […]

16th World Congress on Parasitic Plants, 3–8 July 2022, Nairobi, Kenya a great success

Last week from 3–8 July, 2022 the 16th World Congress on Parasitic Plants was held in Nairobi, Kenya. Over a 100 participants, mostly on site, partially online, listened to a range of scientific presentations on parasitic plants, from wild, endangered, species to damaging agricultural weeds, and from ecology to molecular biology and control. This first […]

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 […]

IPPS travel grants for 16th WCPP in Nairobi

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The IPPS is providing travel grants to support students and young researchers from developing countries to attend the 16th World Congress on Parasitic Plants in Nairobi. Applicants must comply with the following conditions: You are an Early Career Scientist (e.g. MSc student, Ph.D. student, post-doc) You have registered to attend the WCPP and have submitted […]

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- […]

New publication


Striga hermonthica infestation is a growing pandemic threatening global food security. It produces countless dust-like seeds that are persistent in soil. Recently we published an article on the detection and quantification of Striga seedbank in agricultural soil, in the Journal of Weed Research. The high-throughput method we developed combines the traditional flotation method with qPCR-based […]

Striga hermonthica Suicidal Germination Activity of Potent Strigolactone Analogs: Evaluation from Laboratory Bioassays to Field Trials” Jamil et al.,

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Striga (Striga hermonthica), commonly known as witchweed, is an obligate root parasitic weed that poses a major threat to global food security and cereal  production in sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, uncontrolled Striga infestation is causing significant losses in cereal production, affecting crop yields of cereals equating to at least $7 billion each year. There has been […]

IPPS Seminar #12 with Mike Axtell, Claire Baker, and David Sands on May 4, 2022, 3 PM GMT

The International Parasitic Plant Society is pleased to host the next round of talks of the IPPS Online Seminar Series on April 06, 2022 at 3:00 PM GMT*: Talk #1: Mike Axtell  (PennState University, USA) – Molecular evolution and transcriptional control of trans-species microRNA from Cuscuta campestris Talk #2: Claire Baker & Dave Sands (Toothpick project) – Control […]