Skip to main content

Parasitic Weeds: A World Challenge

  • Chris Parker (a1)

While witchweed is nearing eradication in the United States, it continues to thrive in other parts of the world, especially in Africa, together with other witchweed species. The continuing problems from witchweeds and other parasitic weeds, the broomrapes, dodders and mistletoes, are outlined, including their extent, the degrees of damage caused, and the difficulties in their control. While a small minority are being successfully controlled by the use of immune varieties, most are currently controlled by existing techniques only partially, or on a local basis, and they may even be spreading or intensifying. The challenges they present are emphasised.

Corresponding author
Corresponding author's E-mail:
Hide All
Abbes, Z., Kharrat, M., Delavault, P., Simier, P., and Chaïbi, W. 2007. Field evaluation of the resistance of some faba bean (Vicia faba L.) genotypes to the parasitic weed Orobanche foetida Poiret. Crop Prot. 26:17771784.
Aly, R., Goldwasser, Y., Eizenberg, H., Herschenhorn, J., Golan, S., and Kleifeld, Y. 2001. Broomrape (Orobanche cumana) control in sunflower (Helianthus annuus) with imazapic. Weed Technol. 15:306309.
Babiker, A. G. T., Ahme, E. A., Dawoud, D. A., and Abdrella, N. K. 2007. Orobanche species in Sudan: history, distribution and management. Sudan J. Agric. 10:107114.
Babiker, A. G. T., Mohamed, E. S., and El Mana, M. E. 1994. Orobanche problem and management in the Sudan. Pages 672676 In: Pieterse, A. H., Verkleij, J. A. C., and ter Borg, S. J., eds. Biology and Management of Orobanche . Proc.of the 3rd Intern. Workshop on Orobanche and related Striga research. Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1993. Royal Tropical Institute, The Netherlands.
Barbu, C. and Boriaud, L. 2010. The incidence and distribution of white mistletoe (Viscum album ssp. abietis) on Silver fir (Abies alba Mill.) stands from Eastern Carpathians. Annal. Forest Res. 53:2736.
Botanga, C. J. and Timko, M. P. 2006. Phenetic relationships among different races of Striga gesnerioides (Willd.) Vatke from West Africa. Genome. 49:13511365.
Catal, Y. and Carus, S. 2011. Effect of pine mistletoe on radial growth of crimean pine (Pinus nigra) in Turkey. J. Environ. Biol. 32:263270.
Coria Ávalos, V. M., Vázquez Collazo, I., Muñoz Flores, H. J., and Villa Castillo, J. 2010. Diatoms ground impact over Arcethobium globosum Hawksworth & Wiens subsp. grandicaule of Pinus pseudostrobus Lindl. Ciencia Forestal en Mexico. 1:3946 [In Spanish]
de Groote, H., Vanlauwe, B., Rutto, E., Odhiambo, G. D., Kanampiu, F., and Khan, Z. R. 2010. Economic analysis of different options in integrated pest and soil fertility management in maize systems of Western Kenya. Agri. Econom. 41:471482.
de Groote, H., Wangare, L., and Kanampiu, F. 2007. Evaluating the use of herbicide-coated imidazolinone-resistant (IR) maize seeds to control Striga in farmers' fields in Kenya. Crop Prot. 26:14961506.
de Groote, H., Wangare, L., Kanampiu, F., Odendo, M., Diallo, A., Karaya, H., and Friesen, D. 2008. The potential of a herbicide resistant maize technology for Striga control in Africa. Agricultural Systems. 97:8394.
Dube, M. P. and Belzile, F. J. 2010. Low genetic variability of Striga gesnerioides populations parasitic on cowpea might be explained by a recent origin. Weed Res. 50:493502.
Dugje, I. Y., Kamara, A. Y., and Omoigui, L. O. 2006. Infestation of crop fields by Striga species in the savanna zones of northeast Nigeria. Agri. Ecosyst. Environ. 116:251254.
Eizenberg, H., Colquhoun, J. B., and Mallory-Smith, C. A. 2006. Imazamox application timing for small broomrape (Orobanche minor) control in red clover. Weed Sci. 54:923927.
Emechebe, A. M., Singh, B. B., Leleji, O. I., Atokple, I. D. K., and Adu, J. K. 1991. Cowpea-Striga problems and research in Nigeria. Pages 1828 in Kim, S. K., ed. Combating Striga in Africa. Proceedings, International Workshop, Ibadan, 1988. Ibadan, Nigeria IITA.
Galiano, L., Martínez-Vilalta, J., and Lloret, F. 2011. Carbon reserves and canopy defoliation determine the recovery of Scots pine 4 years after a drought episode. New Phytol. 190:750759.
Geiger, U., Kroschel, J., and Sauerborn, J. 1996. Striga asiatica, a problem in the middle west of Madagascar. Pages 479486 in Moreno, M. T., Cubero, J. I., Berner, D. K., Joel, D., Musselman, L. J., and Parker, C., eds. Advances in Parasitic Research. Proceedings of the Sixth International Parasitic Weed Symposium, Cordoba, Spain. Cordoba, Spain Junta de Andalucia, Consejeria de Agricultura y Pesca.
Ghosh, S. K., Balasundaram, M., and Mohamed, A. M. 1984. Studies on the host-parasite relationship of phanerogamic parasites on teak and their possible control. Thrissur, Kerala, India Kerala Forest Research Institute Research Report 21. 39 p.
Grenz, J. H., Iştoc, V. A., Manschadi, A. M., and Sauerborn, J. 2008. Interactions of sunflower (Helianthus annuus) and sunflower broomrape (Orobanche cumana) as affected by sowing date, resource supply and infestation level. Field Crops Res. 107:170179.
Grenz, J. H. and Sauerborn, J. 2007. Mechanisms limiting the geographical range of the parasitic weed Orobanche crenata . Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 122:275281.
Hawksworth, F. G. and Wiens, D. 1996. Dwarf Mistletoes: Biology, Pathology, and Systematics. USDA Forest Service Agriculture Handbook 709. Washington, DC U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service. 410 p.
Idžojtic, M., Pernar, R., Glavaš, M., Zebec, M., and Diminic, D. 2008. The incidence of mistletoe (Viscum album ssp. abietis) on silver fir (Abies alba) in Croatia. Biologia (Bratislava) 63:8185.
Joel, D. M., Hershenhorn, Y., Eizenberg, H., Aly, R., Ejeta, G., Rich, P. J., Ransom, J. K., Sauerborn, J., and Rubiales, D. 2007. Biology and management of weedy root parasites. Hortic. Rev. 33:267349.
Johnson, D. E., Riches, C. R., Camara, M., and Mbwaga, A. M. 1998. Rhamphicarpa fistulosa on rice in Africa. Haustorium. 33:23.
Kabambe, V. H., Kanampiu, F., and Ngwira, A. 2008. Imazapyr (herbicide) seed dressing increases yield, suppresses Striga asiatica and has seed depletion role in maize (Zea mays L.) in Malawi. Afr. J. Biotechnol. 7:32933298.
Kamara, A. Y., Ellis-Jones, J., Amaza, P., Omoigui, L. O., Helsen, J., Dugje, I. Y., Kamai, N., Menkir, A., and White, R. W. 2008. A participatory approach to increasing productivity of maize through Striga hermonthica control in Northeast Nigeria. Exp. Agric. 44:349364.
Kamara, A. Y., Menkir, A., Chikoye, D., Omoigui, L. O., and Ekeleme, F. 2007. Cultivar and nitrogen fertilization effects on Striga infestation and grain yield of early maturing tropical maize. Maydica. 52:415423.
Kanampiu, F. K., Kabambe, V., Massawe, C., Jasi, L., Friesen, D., Ransom, J. K., and Gressel, J. 2003. Multi-site, multi-season field tests demonstrate that herbicide seed-coating herbicide-resistance maize controls Striga spp. and increases yields in several African countries. Crop Prot. 22:697706.
Katzir, N., Portnoy, V., Tzuri, G., Joel, D. M., and Castejón-Muñoz, M. 1996. Use of random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers in the study of the parasitic weed Orobanche . Theor. Appl. Genet. 93:367372.
Kayeke, J., Sibuga, P. K., Msaky, J. J., and Mbwaga, A. 2007. Green manure and inorganic fertiliser as management strategies for witchweed and upland rice. African Crop Sci. J. 15:161171.
Khan, Z. R., Midega, C. A. O., Hassanali, A., and Pickett, J. A. 2007. Field developments on Striga control by Desmodium intercrops in a “Push-Pull” strategy. Pages 241252 in Ejeta, G. and Gressel, J., eds. Integrating New Technologies for Striga Control. Singapore World Scientific Publishing.
Khan, Z. R., Pickett, J. A., Hassanali, A., Hooper, A. M., and Midega, C. A. O. 2008. Desmodium species and associated biochemical traits for controlling Striga species: present and future prospects. Weed Res. 48:302306.
Koga, C., Mwenje, E., and Garwe, D. 2011. Germination stimulation of Striga gesnerioides seeds from tobacco plantations by hosts and non-hosts. J. Applied BioSci. 37:24532459.
Li, J. X., Lis, K. E., and Timko, M. P. 2009. Molecular genetics of race-specific resistance of cowpea to Striga gesnerioides (Willd.). Pest Manage. Sci. 65:520527.
Lins, R. D., Colquhoun, J. B., and Mallory-Smith, C. A. 2007. Effect of small broomrape (Orobanche minor) on red clover growth and dry matter partitioning. Weed Sci. 55:517520.
Manyong, V. M., Alene, A. D., Olanrewaju, A., Ayedun, B., Rweyendela, V., Wesonga, A. S., Omanya, G., Mignouna, H. D., and Bokanga, M. 2007. Baseline Study of Striga Control Using IR Maize in Western Kenya. Accessed: April 2011.
Menkir, A., Badu-Apraku, B., Yallou, C. G., Kamara, A. Y., and Ejeta, G. 2007. Breeding maize for broad-based resistance to Striga hermonthica . Pages 99114 in Ejeta, G. and Gressel, J., eds. Integrating New Technologies for Striga Control. Singapore World Scientific Publishing.
Mohamed, K. I., Musselman, L. J., and Riches, C. R. 2001. The genus Striga (Scrophulariaceae) in Africa. Ann. Mo. Bot. Gard. 88:60103.
Mohamed, K. I., Papes, M., Williams, R., Benz, B. W., and Peterson, A. T. 2006. Global invasive potential of 10 parasitic witchweeds and related Orobanchaceae. Ambio. 35:281288.
Olaku, O. and White, J. D. 2011. Herbal therapy use by cancer patients: a literature review on case reports. Eu. J. Cancer. 47:508514.
Parker, C. 1984. The influence of Striga species on sorghum under varying nitrogen fertilization. Pages 9098 in Parker, C. Musselman, L. J., and Polhill, R. M., eds. Proceedings of the Third International Symposium on Parasitic Weeds, Aleppo. Aleppo, Syria ICARDA.
Parker, C. 1988. Parasitic plants in Ethiopia. Walia. 11:2127.
Parker, C. 2009. Observations on the current status of Orobanche and Striga problems worldwide. Pest Manage. Sci. 65:453459.
Parker, C. and Riches, C. R. 1993. Parasitic Weeds of the World. Biology and Control. Wallingford, UK CAB International. 332 p.
Patil, V. L. and Angadi, S. S. 2008. Effect of management practices on Striga incidence, quality, yield and economics of sorghum. Plant Arch. 8:185188.
Press, M. C., Tuohy, J. M., and Stewart, G. R. 1987. Gas exchange characteristics of the sorghum Striga host-parasite association. Plant Physiology. 84:814819.
Reda, F. 2006. Orobanche crenata in Ethiopia. Haustorium. 49:3.
Reid, N., and Yan, Z. 2000. Mistletoes and other phanerogams parasitic on eucalypts. Pages 353383 in Keane, P. J., Kile, G. A., Podger, F. D., and Brown, B. N. 2000. Diseases and Pathogens of Eucalypts. Collingwood, Australia CSIRO.
Riches, C. R., Hamilton, K. A., and Parker, C. 1992. Parasitism of Alectra species by grain legumes. Ann. Appl. Biol. 121:361370.
Rodenburg, J., Riches, C. R., and Kayeke, J. M. 2010. Addressing current and future problems of parasitic weeds in rice. Crop Prot. 29:210221.
Sarangzai, A. M., Nasrullah, K., Muhammad, W., and Asmatullah, K. 2010. New spread of dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium oxycedri) in Juniper forests, Ziarat, Balochistan, Pakistan. Pak. J. Bot. 42:37093714.
Sauerborn, J. 1991. The economic importance of the phytoparasites Orobanche and Striga . Pages 137143 in Ransom, J. K., Musselman, L. J., Worsham, A. D., and Parker, C., eds. Proceedings of the Fifth Symposium on Parasitic Weeds, Nairobi, Kenya; 24–30 June 1991. Nairobi, Kenya CIMMYT.
Scmuttere, H. 1998. Some arthropod pests and a semi-parasitic plant attacking neem (Azadirachta indica) in Kenya. Anzeiger für Schädlingskunde, Pflantzenschutz. 71:3638.
Singh, B. B., Olufajo, O. O., Ishiyaku, M. F., Adeleke, R. A., Ajeigbe, H. A., and Mohammed, S. G. 2006. Registration of six improved germplasm lines of cowpea with combined resistance to Striga gesnerioides and Alectra vogelii . Crop Sci. 46:332333.
Tesso, T., Gutema, Z., Deressa, A., and Ejeta, G. 2007. An integrated Striga management option offers effective control of Striga in Ethiopia. Pages 199212 in Ejeta, G. and Gressel, J., eds. Integrating New Technologies for Striga Control. Singapore; World Scientific Publishing.
Tonessia, C., Wade, M., Cissé, N., and Severin, A. 2009. Characterization of Striga gesnerioides from Senegal: reaction of various cowpeas [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.] to Striga gesnerioides strains from Sénégal. J. Applied BioSci. 24:14621476 [In French]
Warren, P. 2006. The branched broomrape eradication program in Australia. Pages 610613 in Preston, C., Watts, J. H., and Crossman, N. D., eds. 15th Australian Weeds Conference, Adelaide, September 2006. Adelaide, Austraia Weed Management Society of South Australia Inc.
Wolswinkel, P. 1974. Complete inhibition of setting and growth of fruits of Vicia faba L. resulting from the draining of the phloem system by Cuscuta species. Acta Bot. Neer. 23:4860.
Xia, Bo, ChengMing, Tian, YouQing, Luo, FengYu, Zhao, JianHai, Ma, GuoCang, Wang, and FuZhong, Han. 2010. Flowering characteristics and chemical control of the buds of Arceuthobium sichuanense . Scientia Silvae Sinicae. 46:98102 [In Chinese]
Ziegler, R. and Grossarth-Maticek, R. 2010. Individual patient data meta-analysis of survival and psychosomatic self-regulation from published prospective controlled cohort studies for long-term therapy of breast cancer patients with a mistletoe preparation (Iscador). Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 7:157166.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Weed Science
  • ISSN: 0043-1745
  • EISSN: 1550-2759
  • URL: /core/journals/weed-science
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 1
Total number of PDF views: 26 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 286 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 20th January 2017 - 27th May 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.