Parasitic plants require a vascular connection with a suitable host plant to germinate, grow and develop – obligate parasites – or to enhance their fitness and reproduction rate – facultative parasites. Parasitism often heavily impacts on host plant performance. Some parasitic plant species cause significant weed problems to food crops. A wide range of tolerance levels has however been observed in different crop species against various parasitic plant species, including Striga spp. Understanding the physiological mechanims of parasitic plant tolerance in some crops could aid the development of cultivars with improved tolerance, and management practices that can enhance host plant tolerance.
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