Parasitic Plant Biology
Parasitic angiosperms are a major constraint to crop and forest productivity world-wide. Among this group are such notable species as the mistletoes (Arceuthobium, Phorodendron, and related genera), dodder (Cuscuta), the sandalwoods (Santalaceae), broomrapes (Orobanche), and witchweeds (Striga). Striga and Orobanche are the most serious threats to agriculture. Over two thirds of the 73 million hectares of farmland under cultivation with cereal grains and legumes in Africa are infested with one or more Striga species affecting the livelihoods of >100 million farmers in 25 countries. Similarly, infestations of Orobanche in the Middle East, North Africa, Southern and Eastern Europe, cause losses in crop productivity estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Striga and Orobanche infestations already exist in the US and new outbreaks of the parasites have been reported.
The Cowpea - Striga research group(from left to right): Karolina Lis, Agyemang Danquah, Jianxiong Li,
Bhavani Gowda, Lucky Omoigui, Jeremy Ouedraogo, Michael TImko, Mohammad Sagir and Sobda Gonne.
Parasitic Plant Genome Project (PPGP)