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Abstract

The respiratory rate of the roots of mustard (Brassica cam-pestris L.) and tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum Mill.) serving as hosts for the total root parasites Orobanche aegyptiaca Pers. and O.cernua Loefll. was measured using Warburg manometric technique. At the same time determinations were made of the respiration of the apical, basal and root regions of the parasites. The effects of sodium fluoride, malonic acid, sodium azide and DNP (2,4-dinitrophenol) on the rate of respiration of the host roots as well as of the parasites were studied. The Orobanche infection results in a marked increase in the respiratory rate near the host-parasite contact region. The damaging effect of infection seems to be due mainly to a continuous flow of water, minerals and metabolites from host to parasite. The haustorial invasion creates an obstruction in the translocation of metabolites. The respiration rate is lower in Orobanche than in the host, which might be related to its slower growth rate, inefficient oxidative processes and an escaping of certain energy-requiring interconversion processes. Roots of O. aegyptiaca are more well-developed and have higher rate of respiration. They can absorb more water and minerals from the soil. This fact might be connected with the specificity of the two species. NaF and malonic acid inhibit the respiration to a similar extent in healthy and infected roots. This indicates that the pathway of respiration does not change materially after infection. The EMP and Krebs cycle seem to operate at a lower intensity in Orobanche, which is proved by the lower inhibition of the respiration as compared to in the host. Azide causes a stronger reduction of the respiration in infected than in healthy roots. It would imply that the infection stimulates the activity of metal containing oxidases. The weaker inhibition of the respiration in Orobanche tissues indicates a mediation of other enzymes in the oxidation processes than in the host. The respiration is less stimulated by DNP in infected than in healthy roots. Contrary to the general effect of DNP, this substance decreases the O2 uptake in the parasite tissues. This fact may be explained by the occurrence of exceptionally high amounts of endogenous phenolic compounds and an insufficient production of ATP in the parasite.