Physiology of the interaction of angiosperm parasites and their higher plant hosts

Authors

  • M. C. PRESS,

    Corresponding author
    1. Striga Research Group, Department of Biology. Darwin Building, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E6BT. U.K.
      *Correspondence and present address: Department of Environmental Biology, Williamson Building, Oxford Road, The University, Manchester M13 9PL, U.K.
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  • J. D. GRAVES,

    1. Striga Research Group, Department of Biology. Darwin Building, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E6BT. U.K.
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    • Department of Biology, The University, York YOI 5DD, U.K.

  • G. R. STEWART

    1. Striga Research Group, Department of Biology. Darwin Building, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E6BT. U.K.
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*Correspondence and present address: Department of Environmental Biology, Williamson Building, Oxford Road, The University, Manchester M13 9PL, U.K.

Abstract

Abstract. Interactions between parasitic angiosperms and their hosts occur at the level of seed germination, haustorial development and resource transfer. Chemicals released from the host function as cues for host recognition, and trigger germination as well as haustorial initiation. Transpiration is a key process regulating solute transfer from host to parasite, and some parasitie plants have unusual stomatal characteristics. Although solute transfer is apoplastic, the haustorium appears to play a role in regulating solute composition. Host responses to infection are reviewed, and it is concluded that competition for water and solutes are unlikely to play a major role in determining reductions in host productivity: metabolic incompatability is suggested to be the major cause of this.

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