First report of eastern dodder (Cuscuta monogyna) parasitizing licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) in Armenia.
Field surveys conducted in southern Armenia in June 2017 revealed extensive infestations of C. monogyna on the shoots of G. glabra (liquorice) in one locality in Ararat Province, near Khor Virap, in halophytic vegetation and cultivated areas, and also near irrigation ditches. The infection was confirmed by verifying the attachment of the Cuscuta to the Glycyrrhiza shoot. The population of the parasite consisted of at least a few hundred shoots, often long and branched, sometimes creating distinctive cones and almost smothering the host plants. A single plant of liquorice was parasitized by one to several dozens of dodder plants, and 40 to 60% of the approximately one hectare location was infested. Occasionally, the dodder was also parasitic on other plants, such as Alhagi, Artemisia, Salsola, Cardaria, Phragmites and Tamarix, especially on the outskirts of the Khor Virap State Sanctuary of swamp vegetation. Based on main botanical features and phylogenetic analysis, the parasitic weed was confirmed as C. monogyna. This is thought to be the first report of a C. monogyna parasitizing G. glabra.