Orobanche minor (common broomrape)
- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Plant Type
- Distribution Table
- History of Introduction and Spread
- Risk of Introduction
- Habitat List
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Growth Stages
- Latitude/Altitude Ranges
- Air Temperature
- Rainfall Regime
- Soil Tolerances
- Natural enemies
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Plant Trade
- Impact Summary
- Environmental Impact
- Impact: Biodiversity
- Social Impact
- Risk and Impact Factors
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Orobanche minor Sm. (1797)
Preferred Common Name
- common broomrape
Other Scientific Names
- Orobanche abyssinnica A. Rich. (1851)
- Orobanche apiculata Wallr. (1822)
- Orobanche barbata Poir.
- Orobanche concolor Duby
- Orobanche crithmi Bertol.
- Orobanche euglossa Rchb.f.
- Orobanche grisebachii Reut. 1846
- Orobanche hyalina Spruner ex Reut.
- Orobanche laurina Bertol.
- Orobanche livida Sendtn. ex Freyn
- Orobanche pyrrha Rchb.f.
- Orobanche unicolor Boreau
- Orobanche yuccae Pa.Savi ex Bertol.
International Common Names
- English: clover broomrape; lesser broomrape; small broomrape
- Spanish: rabo de lobo
- French: Orobanche du trefle; petit orobanche
- Portuguese: erva-toira-menor
Local Common Names
- Germany: Kleeteufel; Kleine sommerwurz
- Italy: Orobanche del trifoglio
- Japan: yase-utsubo
- Netherlands: klavervreter
- USA: hellroot
- ORAGB (Orobanche grisebachii)
- ORAMI (Orobanche minor)
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page Orobanche minor is not a highly invasive plant but its introduction could result in a significant impact on certain crop species, especially forage legumes and tobacco.
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Spermatophyta
- Subphylum: Angiospermae
- Class: Dicotyledonae
- Order: Scrophulariales
- Family: Orobanchaceae
- Genus: Orobanche
- Species: Orobanche minor
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page O. minor is in the section Osproleon of the genus Orobanche (together with species including O. crenata and O. cernua) with simple bracts, whereas the other important section Trionychon (containing O. ramosa and O. aegyptiaca) has additional bracteoles on the calyx.
The taxonomy and nomenclature of O. minor is a matter of some disagreement as it exists in a wide range of forms which are variously treated as varieties, sub-species or distinct species. Beck-Mannagetta (1930) recognises two varieties, var. genuine and var. neglecta, and many 'forma' but Flora Europaea (Chater and Webb, 1972) recognises no divisions. Benharrat et al. (2000) have recently used molecular techniques to confirm the distinctions between O. minor and the closely related taxa O. amethystea, O. loricata and O. hederae. Stace (1991) and Rumsey and Jury (1991) list varieties in the UK as: var. minor (on a wide range of hosts); var. flava with yellow corolla (on Hypochaeris radicata and related species); var. maritima with yellow bosses on the lower lip (on Daucus carota, Plantago coronopus and Ononis repens); and var. compositarum, with narrow erect corollas pressed to the stem (mainly on Crepis virens [C. capillaris] and other Compositae [Asteraceae]). Where morphological variants are associated with particular host species it is not known whether the morphology is affected by the host, nor whether these variants are truly host-specific.
DescriptionTop of page Orobanche species are obligate parasites on the roots of various host plants and lack any chlorophyll. After germination and attachment to a host root, a tuberous 'nodule' develops, usually covered in 'crown roots', short roots up to 1-2 cm long of uncertain function. Some weeks after germination and development, the shoot erupts from this tuberous mass. In O. minor the stems are un-branched, yellowish-brown, often tinged with purple, generally 30-50 cm tall but sometimes exceeding 100 cm (especially in Ethiopia), glandular-villous or nearly glabrous. Leaves are represented by alternate brown scales, ovate to lanceolate, acuminate, 6-20 mm long. The inflorescence is an elongated spike, 10-30 cm long (longer in very large specimens) occupying about half the mature stem. Flowers are sessile, arranged spirally, each subtended by a single narrow, ovate-acuminate, glandular-hairy bract 10-15 mm long x 3-5 mm wide. The calyx, also glandular-hairy, is variable in form, usually with two pairs of acute, almost subulate lobes divided to about halfway laterally, but sometimes with only two undivided lobes. The lobes, or pairs of lobes, are completely separated by deep sinuses dorsally and ventrally. The corolla is 10-18 mm long, rarely to 20 mm, the tube more-or-less cylindrical, slightly curved downwards, opening out to lobes 2-3 mm long, to make a total width of about 10 mm at the mouth, glabrous to moderately glandular-hairy on the outside, generally glabrous within. Colour mainly pale whitish but with varying amounts of purple concentrated along the veins. Stamens inserted 2-4 mm from the base of the corolla tube, the filaments often hairy towards the base. Stigma 2-lobed, reddish-brown, rarely yellow. Capsule 7-10 mm long, splitting into two valves when ripe, shedding several hundred minute seeds, about 0.3 mm long with coarse reticulate marking.
Plant TypeTop of page Annual
DistributionTop of page O. minor has a wide natural distribution through most of Europe (excluding the extreme north), North Africa and western Asia. It has been introduced further afield in the USA, S. America, Australia, New Zealand and southern Africa. It is less clear whether occurrence in the highland tropics of eastern Africa is natural or introduced.
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.Last updated: 10 Jan 2020
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|Eritrea||Present, Widespread||Native||Stroud and Parker (1989)|
|Ethiopia||Present, Widespread||Native||Stroud and Parker (1989)|
|Kenya||Present||Native||Holm et al. (1979); CABI (Undated)|
|Malawi||Present, Localized||Native||Stapf (1906)|
|Mauritius||Present||Introduced||Holm et al. (1979)|
|Mozambique||Present, Localized||Native||Stapf (1906)|
|South Africa||Present||Native||Holm et al. (1979)|
|Sudan||Present||Native||Holm et al. (1979)|
|Tanzania||Present||Native||Holm et al. (1979); CABI (Undated)|
|Uganda||Present||Native||Holm et al. (1979); CABI (Undated)|
|Zimbabwe||Present||Native||Holm et al. (1979)|
|Japan||Present, Localized||Introduced||Shimizu et al. (2001)|
|-Hokkaido||Present, Localized||Introduced||Shimizu et al. (2001)|
|-Honshu||Present, Localized||Introduced||Shimizu et al. (2001)|
|Pakistan||Present||Native||Holm et al. (1979)|
|Saudi Arabia||Present||Native||Holm et al. (1997)|
|Turkey||Present||Native||Holm et al. (1979)|
|Albania||Present||Native||Chater and Webb (1972)|
|Austria||Present||Native||Chater and Webb (1972)|
|Belgium||Present||Native||Chater and Webb (1972)|
|Bulgaria||Present||Native||Chater and Webb (1972)|
|Czechoslovakia||Present||Native||Chater and Webb (1972)|
|Denmark||Present||Introduced||Chater and Webb (1972)|
|France||Present||Native||Chater and Webb (1972)|
|-Corsica||Present||Native||Chater and Webb (1972)|
|Germany||Present||Native||Chater and Webb (1972)|
|Greece||Present||Native||Chater and Webb (1972)|
|Hungary||Present||Native||Chater and Webb (1972)|
|Ireland||Present||Introduced||Chater and Webb (1972)|
|Italy||Present||Native||Chater and Webb (1972)|
|Netherlands||Present||Native||Chater and Webb (1972)|
|Poland||Present||Introduced||Chater and Webb (1972)|
|Portugal||Present||Native||Chater and Webb (1972)|
|-Azores||Present||Native||Chater and Webb (1972)|
|Romania||Present||Native||Chater and Webb (1972)|
|Russia||Present||CABI (Undated a)||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-Central Russia||Present||Native||Chater and Webb (1972)|
|-Northern Russia||Present||Native||Chater and Webb (1972)|
|-Southern Russia||Present||Native||Chater and Webb (1972)|
|Serbia||Present||Native||Kojić et al. (2001)|
|Serbia and Montenegro||Present||Native||Chater and Webb (1972)|
|Spain||Present||Native||Chater and Webb (1972)|
|-Canary Islands||Present||Native||USDA-ARS (2003)|
|Sweden||Present||Introduced||Chater and Webb (1972); Kraft (1979)|
|Switzerland||Present||Native||Chater and Webb (1972)|
|United Kingdom||Present||Native||Chater and Webb (1972)|
|United States||Present||CABI (Undated a)||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-New Jersey||Present||Introduced||Invasive||USDA-ARS (2003)|
|-New York||Present||Introduced||Invasive||USDA-ARS (2003)|
|-North Carolina||Present||Introduced||Invasive||USDA-ARS (2003)|
|-South Carolina||Present||Introduced||Invasive||USDA-ARS (2003)|
|-West Virginia||Present||Introduced||Invasive||USDA-ARS (2003)|
|Australia||Present||CABI (Undated a)||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-New South Wales||Present||Introduced||Holm et al. (1979)|
|-Queensland||Present||Introduced||Holm et al. (1979)|
|-Tasmania||Present||Introduced||Holm et al. (1979)|
|-Victoria||Present||Introduced||Holm et al. (1979)|
|-Western Australia||Present||Introduced||Holm et al. (1979)|
|New Zealand||Present||Introduced||Holm et al. (1979)|
|Chile||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Holm et al. (1979)|
History of Introduction and SpreadTop of page
Introduced to the USA, Japan, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, and southern Africa but little available information on the dates or methods of introduction. It has not proved invasive in the USA but causes concern in South Africa (Henderson et al., 1987) and has been a serious pest of tobacco locally in New Zealand (James and Frater, 1977).
Frost and Musselman (1980) report that in a survey of herbarium material, O. minor was found to have a 116-year history in the USA. The species has been collected 98 times in 12 states plus the District of Columbia and appears to be established at maritime ports and along railway lines. The distribution pattern suggests repeated introductions from foreign sources and persistence in some areas. Most of the infestations in the USA have later been eradicated, either by removal of host plants or by fumigation. (Eplee et al., 1994).
In Chile, O. minor is known to have occurred since 1952 and has spread south to latitude 39°S from its original site at latitude 37°S (Norambuena et al., 1999).
In Japan, O. minor was first recorded in 1937. It has spread to much of the country but has not apparently caused serious concern (K. Yoneyama, Utsunomiya University, Utsunomiya 321-8505, Japan, personal communication).
Risk of IntroductionTop of page The risk of introduction is not high, as O. minor is not an especially frequent weed of crops and, even when it is, the chances of contamination of crop seed is moderate or low. However, any contamination that does occur may have serious consequences where it contravenes plant quarantine regulations.
HabitatTop of page O. minor is associated mainly with disturbed areas, crops, roadsides and waste places on a wide range of soil types in temperate and highland tropical areas. There is some tendency to association with alkaline soils but the local importance of O. minor on tobacco suggests that this is not a strict limitation. Although the other main group of root parasites, Striga spp., are favoured by low soil nitrogen, this is not generally true for Orobanche spp. Yoneyama et al. (2001) even report increased stimulation of O. minor germination by exudates from roots of Trifolium pratense at increasing levels of nitrate, although ammonium could be inhibitory. Phosphate also greatly reduced stimulant exudation, in keeping with field observations of reduced O. minor infestation in Trifolium subterraneum at higher phosphate levels (Southwood, 1971). Westwood and Foy (1999) also showed ammonium nitrogen to be directly inhibitory to radicle elongation in a number of Orobanche species, O. minor being the most susceptible to this effect. O. minor may occur in some irrigated crops but is not common in naturally wet habitats.
Habitat ListTop of page
|Terrestrial – Managed||Cultivated / agricultural land||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Managed grasslands (grazing systems)||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Disturbed areas||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Rail / roadsides||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page O. minor parasitizes numerous species in a wide range of plant families, predominantly Leguminosae [Fabaceae], Umbelliferae, Solanaceae and Compositae [Asteraceae] but also many others including Malvaceae, Geraniaceae and Rosaceae. Musselman et al. (1981) found some evidence for the existence of biotypes with differing specificity; a population from a lettuce host parasitized tobacco and Trifolium species as well as lettuce, whereas populations from Trifolium species failed on lettuce and were very slow to emerge on tobacco. However, seeds of O. minor var. minor taken from plants parasitizing Eryngium maritimum were able to parasitize Hypochaeris radicata, Trifolium hybridum and T. pratense (Hipkin, 1992).
Where morphological variants are associated with particular host species it is not known whether the morphology is affected by the host, nor whether these variants are truly host-specific.
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
|Apium graveolens (celery)||Apiaceae||Other|
|Arachis hypogaea (groundnut)||Fabaceae||Other|
|Bidens (Burmarigold)||Asteraceae||Wild host|
|Carduus chamaecephalus (stemless thistle)||Asteraceae||Wild host|
|Carthamus tinctorius (safflower)||Asteraceae||Other|
|Centella asiatica (Asiatic pennywort)||Apiaceae||Wild host|
|Daucus carota (carrot)||Apiaceae||Other|
|Guizotia abyssinica (niger)||Asteraceae||Other|
|Helianthus annuus (sunflower)||Asteraceae||Other|
|Hypochaeris radicata (cat's ear)||Asteraceae||Wild host|
|Lactuca sativa (lettuce)||Asteraceae||Other|
|Lotus corniculatus (bird's-foot trefoil)||Fabaceae||Other|
|Medicago sativa (lucerne)||Fabaceae||Other|
|Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco)||Solanaceae||Other|
|Tagetes minuta (stinking Roger)||Asteraceae||Wild host|
|Trifolium pratense (red clover)||Fabaceae||Main|
|Trifolium repens (white clover)||Fabaceae||Main|
|Trifolium subterraneum (subterranean clover)||Fabaceae||Main|
|Vicia faba (faba bean)||Fabaceae||Main|
|Xanthium (Cocklebur)||Asteraceae||Wild host|
Growth StagesTop of page Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Vegetative growing stage
Latitude/Altitude RangesTop of page
|Latitude North (°N)||Latitude South (°S)||Altitude Lower (m)||Altitude Upper (m)|
Air TemperatureTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit|
|Mean annual temperature (ºC)||8||29|
|Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC)||20||40|
|Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC)||0||15|
RainfallTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit||Description|
|Dry season duration||0||10||number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall|
|Mean annual rainfall||180||1300||mm; lower/upper limits|
Rainfall RegimeTop of page Bimodal
Soil TolerancesTop of page
Special soil tolerances
Natural enemiesTop of page
|Natural enemy||Type||Life stages||Specificity||References||Biological control in||Biological control on|
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page By far the most significant insect enemy of O. minor is the dipteran Phytomyza orobanchia, associated with O. minor through most if not all of its natural range. Only a selection of countries are indicated in the Table. Kroschel and Klein (1999) indicate its occurrence in most of Europe, the Mediterranean, the Balkans and Central Asia. Reductions of total seed production resulting from natural infestations range from 11 to 90% and it has been exploited for biological control (see 'Control' section).
Orobanche species are affected by a wide range of fungal pathogens and many of those recorded by Linke et al. (1992) on O. crenata are likely to also occur on O. minor, in addition to Aspergillus niger and Alternaria alternata which were recorded on O. minor. The complete collapse of plants sometimes observed after attack by Phytomyza is often the result of fungal infection associated with the physical damage caused to the stems by Phytomyza larvae.
Means of Movement and DispersalTop of page Natural Dispersal (Non-Biotic)
Seeds of O. minor are small enough to be blown some distance by wind but rarely further than a few metres. Movement in surface water is likely to occasionally provide longer-distance dispersal.
Vector Transmission (Biotic)
Movement by animals may occasionally occur but only in a sporadic way.
By far the most important agent of local dispersal is farm machinery transporting contaminated soil from field to field and from farm to farm.
Accidental introduction over long distances, including national boundaries, may occur when contaminated soil or crop seed is introduced.
Intentional introduction is unlikely.
Plant TradeTop of page
|Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transport||Pest stages||Borne internally||Borne externally||Visibility of pest or symptoms|
|Fruits (inc. pods)||seeds|
|Growing medium accompanying plants||seeds|
|Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches||seeds|
|True seeds (inc. grain)||seeds|
|Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport|
Impact SummaryTop of page
|Fisheries / aquaculture||None|
ImpactTop of page The effects of Orobanche species on their hosts are somewhat less severe than those of Striga species. Damage to the host in the studies reported so far generally appears to be proportional to the dry weight of the parasite, so that the total dry weight of the host/parasite combination equals the weight of the un-infested host. Damage from O. crenata on faba bean may be greater than this under dry conditions, apparently due to some enhancement of drought stress, but this has not been reported for O. minor. Apart from yield reduction, O. minor can greatly reduce the value of clover and lucerne seed crops due to the danger of seed contamination. In Chile, it is seriously harming exports of Trifolium pratense seed and 6,000 ha on 500 farms are potentially endangered (Norambuena at al., 1999). It has been reported as killing ornamental species including Pelargonium x hortorum and Campanula portenschlagiana in Ireland (Murphy, 1972).
O. minor is recorded by Holm et al. (1979, 1997) as a 'serious' weed of beans and peas in Egypt, of legumes in Czechoslovakia, and of clover, rape and tobacco in New Zealand; also a 'principal' weed of legumes in Italy and Pakistan, and in grassland in Uganda. It is also common in lucerne in Turkey, in legumes in Hungary and vegetables in Saudi Arabia. The most widespread hosts appear to be the forage legumes (Trifolium spp., Medicago sativa and Lotus corniculatus). In Ethiopia it may cause local damage to safflower, sunflower, tobacco, noug (Guizotia abyssinica), lettuce, groundnut, faba bean and tobacco, as well as to clovers (Parker, 1992).
In some countries, the importance of O. minor as a weed has declined with the reduced cultivation of Trifolium seed crops, as in the Netherlands (ter Borg et al., 1994), and in the UK (Parker and Riches, 1993).
Environmental ImpactTop of page No significant environmental impact has been reported for O. minor.
Impact: BiodiversityTop of page No significant impact on biodiversity has been reported for O. minor.
Social ImpactTop of page No significant social impact has been reported for O. minor.
Risk and Impact FactorsTop of page Invasiveness
- Invasive in its native range
- Proved invasive outside its native range
- Highly mobile locally
- Has high reproductive potential
- Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
- Negatively impacts agriculture
- Competition - monopolizing resources
- Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
- Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
- Difficult/costly to control
UsesTop of page No uses of this species are known.
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page O. minor is distinguished from the important weedy species O. ramosa and O. aegyptiaca by lack of branching and the absence of bracteoles. There is greater difficulty distinguishing it from other members of the section Osproleon, especially from dried material. O. crenata is close to O. minor in many respects but is larger in most of its parts and its flowers are almost invariably over 20 mm long and over 12 mm across. In O. cernua (including O. cumana), the flowers are similar in size to those of O. minor, but when fresh they are clearly distinguished by the contrast between a white tube and deeply coloured lobes. Dried material shows less contrast, but dissection of the corolla tube shows the stamens of those two species to have glabrous filaments inserted at least 5 mm from the base of the tube.
Benharrat et al. (2000) have recently used molecular techniques to confirm the morphological distinctions between O. minor and the closely related taxa O. amethystea, O. loricata and O. hederae. For a full monograph see Beck-Mannagetta (1930). For keys which include all the main species of concern see Chater and Webb (1972) and Parker and Riches (1993).
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.Cultural Control
Infestation may be prevented by phytosanitation, aimed at preventing the spread of viable seeds. This may involve minimizing the movement of infested soil by farm machinery and vehicles, preventing grazing on infested plant material, treating manure (e.g. composting) and avoiding the use of hay made from Orobanche-infested plants (Jacobsohn, 1984). The use of Orobanche-infested crop seeds should also be avoided.
Trap crops and catch crops are used in the control of some other Orobanche species. These stimulate germination of Orobanche in the soil, in order to deplete the seed reserve. Trap crops promote Orobanche seed germination but do not support parasitism; catch crops support parasitism but are destroyed prior to Orobanche flowering. Examples of trap crops for Orobanche include flax (Ramaiah, 1987), mung beans, maize and sorghum (Foy et al., 1989). A catch crop that has been effective in Egypt is berseem (Trifolium alexandrinum), harvested repeatedly for forage to prevent full development and seeding of the parasite (Al-Menoufi, 1994). Kropac (1973) has also reported that a catch crop of Trifolium repens and Lolium multiflorum was effective in eliminating seeds of Orobanche spp., including O. minor. Though these methods have in some cases proved successful, the use of trap and catch crops has limitations for two reasons: (a) local strains of the parasites may differ in their response; (b) it takes several years of trap or catch cropping to reduce parasite seed populations to non-damaging levels.
Frater (1975) proposes deep ploughing as a control measure, depending on the observation that infestation on tobacco in New Zealand arises from shallow soil layers.
Fertilization, especially phosphate and ammonium nitrogen, can help to suppress O. minor (Yoneyama et al., 2001). Westwood and Foy (1999) show that the levels of ammonium required to inhibit O. minor are non-toxic to a range of likely host crops.
Host-plant resistance is an important approach to the control of several other species of Orobanche, but there is no known instance of the selection of crop varieties resistant to O. minor.
Hand-pulling of Orobanche flowering stems can be useful, preferably at an early stage before maximum damage has been caused, but stems should immediately be removed from the field as they may continue developing flowers and spreading seeds even without being connected to the host. Hand-weeding is very important, especially when only a few Orobanche plants develop in a field. This can prevent further spread of the parasite and avoid damage.
Soil fumigation with metham sodium [metam] has been used with moderate success against O. minor in New Zealand (James and Frater, 1977).
There are few herbicides that have an adequate margin of selectivity against Orobanche species and none have been developed specifically for control of O. minor. Glyphosate can be used for control of O. crenata in faba bean and some other crops if applied at low rates (Garcia-Torres, 1994). The imidazolinone herbicides have shown promise applied in various ways for control of Orobanche spp. in legumes and sunflower, especially imazethapyr pre-emergence, post-emergence or as seed dressings in legumes, and imazapyr in lentil and sunflower (e.g. Garcia-Torres and Lopez-Granados, 1991a, b; Garcia Torres et al., 1995, 1996, 1998). A number of these options are likely to be suitable for control of O. minor in the relevant crops, but these compounds will need to be used with care to avoid the development of herbicide-resistant populations of Orobanche. For a broad review of control options for Orobanche spp., see Parker and Riches (1993).
The use of transgenic crops engineered with target-site herbicide resistance is perhaps one of the most promising solutions for Orobanche infestation in many crops. Using glyphosate on transgenic oilseed rape, and chlorsulfuron and asulam on tobacco, complete control of O. aegyptiaca was achieved without affecting the crop or its yield (Joel et al., 1995). These techniques have yet to be applied to the control of O. minor, but when the relevant herbicide-resistant crops become available they should prove valuable.
The broomrape-fly Phytomyza orobanchia was widely used for Orobanche control in the Soviet Union and some East European countries in the 1960s and 1970s (Girling et al., 1979). Infested Orobanche shoots were collected during the growing season, dried and stored under controlled temperature and humidity over the winter and released from specially constructed 'phytomyzaria' which allowed separation and destruction of the smaller hyperparasites as they emerged. The topic has recently been reviewed in some detail and there has been some renewed interest in its exploitation (see Kroschel and Klein, 1999; Klein and Kroschel, 2002). These authors provide detailed reviews of the biology of the insect, its very large number of hyper-parasites (at least 24 are listed) and the early elaborate systems for its exploitation in eastern Europe, where success was often over 90% in terms of reduced Orobanche seed production in the treated fields, but problems had arisen from interference by hyperparasites and also from insecticide use. They emphasise that repeated releases are needed over several seasons to overcome the problem of the long-lived seed bank. Recent attempts at introduction of P. orobanchia to Chile as a classical biocontrol agent against introduced infestations of O. minor and O. ramosa are showing promise (Normabuena et al., 1999, 2001).
Orobanche-specific forms of Fusarium oxysporum have shown promise for control of some other Orobanche spp. in tobacco and in sunflower (Parker and Riches, 1993). Ulocladium atrum has also appeared promising against O. crenata (Linke et al., 1992), but neither of these agents has yet been developed for practical use.
Ideas for integrated control of Orobanche species are reviewed by Pieterse et al. (1992) and by Parker and Riches (1993). Approaches for possible inclusion in an integrated control programme include general techniques of crop rotation, flooding, fumigation, solarization, prevention of seeding and biocontrol, as well as more crop-specific methods including crop resistance, herbicides and time of planting.
ReferencesTop of page
Al-Menoufi OA, 1994. The Orobanche problem in Egypt. Biology and management of Orobanche. Proceedings of the third international workshop on Orobanche and related Striga research, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 8-12 November 1993 [edited by Pieterse, A.H.; Verkleij, J.A.C.; Borg, S.J. ter] Amsterdam, Netherlands; Royal Tropical Institute, 663-671
Beck-Mennagetta G, 1930. Orobanchaceae. In: Engler HGA, ed. Das Pflanzenreich, 96(IV-261):1-275.
Chater AO, Webb DA, 1972. 2. Orobanche. In: Tutin TG, Heywood VH, Burgess NA, Morre DM, Valentine, DH, Walters SM, Webb DM, eds. Flora Europaea 3. Diapensiaceae to Myoporaceae. Cambridge, UK: University Press, 286-293.
Eplee RE, Fay CL, Norris R, 1994. Orobanche infestations in the USA. Biology and management of Orobanche. In: Pieterse AH, Verkleij JAC, Borg SJ ter, eds. Proceedings of the third international workshop on Orobanche and related Striga research, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 8-12 November 1993. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Royal Tropical Institute, 611-613
Frater KC, 1975. Broomrape control. New Zealand Tobacco Growers Journal, November:10
Garcia Torres L, 1994. Progress in Orobanche control, an overview. In: Pieterse AH, Verkleij JAC, Borg SJ ter, eds. Biology and management of Orobanche. Proceedings of the 3rd International Workshop on Orobanche and Related Striga Research, Amsterdam, Netherlands: KIT, 390-399.
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