Striga hermonthica

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Purple witchweed
Striga hermonthica
Striga hermonthica flowers
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Orobanchaceae
Genus: Striga
Species: S. hermonthica
Binomial name
Striga hermonthica

Striga hermonthica, commonly known as purple or giant witchweed,[1] is a hemiparasitic plant[1] that belongs to the family Orobanchaceae. It is devastating to major crops such as sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) and rice (Oryza sativa).[2] In sub-Saharan Africa it infests, apart from sorghum and rice, also maize (Zea mays), pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) and sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum).[3]

Striga hermonthica has undergone horizontal gene transfer from Sorghum to its nuclear genome. The S. hermonthica gene, ShContig9483, is most like a Sorghum bicolor gene, and additionally shows significant but lesser similarity to a gene from Oryza sativa. It shows no similarity to any known eudicot gene.[2]

Host and Symptoms[edit]

Purple witchweed infects a variety of grasses, and legumes in sub-saharan Africa including rice, maize, millet, sugarcane, and cowpea. The symptoms mimic that of drought or nutrient deficiency symptoms. Chlorosis, wilt, and stunting result from witchweed’s ability to extract nutrients from its host. Pre-emergence symptoms are difficult to diagnose secondary to their similarity to general lack of nutrients. Once emergence of the plant has taken place, it is usually too late to mitigate damage.[4]

Disease Cycle[edit]

Seeds of witchweed overwinter in the soil after they are dispersed by wind, water, animal, or human machinery.[5] When the environment is correct, and if the plant is within a few centimeters of the host root it will begin to germinate. The germinating plant grows towards hormones, called strigolactones, released from the host root.[6][7] The plant grows up the concentration gradient of these strigolactones. In the absence of strigolactone, the striga will not germinate. Strigolactone knockout plants have been used in an attempt to prevent infection by avoiding germination. [8] Once in contact with the root, the witchweed produces a haustorium establishing a parasitic relationship with the plant. It remains underground for several weeks while extracting nutrients. The stem while underground is round and white. After this stage it emerges from the ground and rapidly flowers and produces seeds. The flowers self pollinate before opening. Post emergence the plant can perform photosynthesis to augment its metabolic demands.[9]

Environment[edit]

30-35 degrees Celsius is witchweed’s ideal climate for germination. In temperatures below 20 C the seeds will not germinate. Seeds can survive freezing temperatures.[10] However the longevity of the seed is debated. Most say that under ideal conditions seeds can remain viable for up to 14 years, but a study conducted on more realistic environmental conditions demonstrated that wet soils greatly decrease the resilience of the seeds. At most in one year 74 % of viable seeds were lost secondary to wet soil.[11]

Management[edit]

Witchweed is historically among the hardest parasitic plants to control. It does not have any sign of infection until emersion from the plant. It was found that Fusarium oxysporum may be used as a possible biocontrol of witchweed. Fusarium oxysporum is a fungus that is thought to infect the early vasculature of the Striga plant.[12] A potential solution to Purple Witchweed for millet and sorghum crops is herbicide priming. When seeds were soaked in an herbicidal chemicals before planting there was up to an 80% decrease in infection.[13] It has further been demonstrated that use of nitrogen rich fertilizers reduces witchweed infection rate. Although the mechanism behind this is not fully understood it is thought that the abundance of nitrogen disrupts the nitrogen reductase activity. This has a ripple effect resulting in the dysregulation of the plants light and dark cycle inevitably resulting in the Strigas death.[14]

Impact[edit]

In the late 1990s, "21 million hectares of cereals in Africa were estimated to be infested by S. hermonthica, leading to an estimated annual grain loss of 4.1 million tons".[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=STHE8
  2. ^ a b Yoshida, Satoko; Maruyama, Shinichiro; Nozaki, Hisayoshi; Shirasu, Ken (28 May 2010). "Horizontal Gene Transfer by the Parasitic Plant Stiga hermonthica". Science 328 (5982): 1128. doi:10.1126/science.1187145. PMID 20508124. 
  3. ^ a b Abbasher, A. A.; Hess, D. E.; Sauerborn, J. (1998). "Fungal pathogens for biological control of Striga hermonthica on sorghum and pearl millet in West Africa". African Crop Science Journal 6 (2): 179–188. 
  4. ^ Johnson, Annie. New South Wales. Witchweed. 2005. http://www.wyong.nsw.gov.au/environment/Weeds_category_one_Witchweed.pdf
  5. ^ Sand, Paul, Robert Eplee, and Randy Westbrooks.Witchweed Research and Control in the United States. Champaign, IL: Weed Science Society of America, 1990.
  6. ^ Agrios, George N. Plant Pathology. 5th ed. London: Elsevier Academic Press, 2005
  7. ^ Matusova, Radoslava; Rani, Kumkum; Verstappen, Francel W.A.; Franssen, Maurice C.R.; Beale, Michael H.; Bouwmeester, Harro J. (2005). "The Strigolactone Germination Stimulants of the Plant-Parasitic Striga and Orobanche spp. Are Derived from the Carotenoid Pathway".
  8. ^ Matusova, Radoslava; Rani, Kumkum; Verstappen, Francel W.A.; Franssen, Maurice C.R.; Beale, Michael H.; Bouwmeester, Harro J. (2005). "The Strigolactone Germination Stimulants of the Plant-Parasitic Striga and Orobanche spp. Are Derived from the Carotenoid Pathway".
  9. ^ Agrios, George N. Plant Pathology. 5th ed. London: Elsevier Academic Press, 2005
  10. ^ Lane, J.A., Moore, T.H.M. and Child, D.V. 1996. Characterisation of virulence and geographic distribution of Striga gesnerioides on cowpea in West Africa. Plant Disease 80: 299-301
  11. ^ Gbehounou, G., A. H. Pieterse, and JAC Verkleij. "Longevity of Striga Seeds Reconsidered: Results of a Field Study on Purple Witchweed (Striga Hermonthica) in Benin." Weed Science 51.6 (2003): 940-6. ProQuest. Web. 11 Nov. 2014.
  12. ^ Abbasher, A. A.; Hess, D. E.; Sauerborn, J. (1998). "Fungal pathogens for biological control of Striga hermonthica on sorghum and pearl millet in West Africa". African Crop Science Journal 6 (2): 179–188.
  13. ^ Dembélé, B., Dembélé, D., & Westwood, J. (n.d.). Herbicide Seed Treatments for Control of Purple Witchweed (Striga hermonthica) in Sorghum and Millet. Weed Technology, 629-635.
  14. ^ Igbinnosa, I., and P. A. Thalouarn. "Nitrogen Assimilation Enzyme Activities in Witchweed (Striga) in Hosts Presence and Absence." Weed Science 44.2 (1996): 224-32. ProQuest. Web. 11 Nov. 2014.

External links[edit]