Exploring the resistance against root parasitic plants in Arabidopsis and tomato

Xi Cheng

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


Root parasitic plant species such as broomrapes (Orobanche and Phelipanche spp.) and witchweeds (Striga spp.) are notorious agricultural weeds. They cause damage to crops by depriving them of water, nutrients and assimilates via a vascular connection. The difficulty in controlling root parasitic weeds is largely due to their intricate lifecycle and partially underground lifestyle. Their life cycle includes processes such as germination of the seed, the formation of the vascular connection with the host, the growth and development of the parasite after attachment and the emergence of shoots and flowers aboveground. The germination of many parasitic plants is induced by strigolactones that were recently shown to also be signalling compounds that stimulate mycorrhizal symbiosis. In addition, in the past few years, their role in plant development and plant defense has been established revealing them as a new class of plant hormones that exert their function likely in interaction with other hormones.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Bouwmeester, H.J., Promotor, External person
  • Ruyter-Spira, Carolien, Co-promotor
Award date19 Oct 2017
Place of PublicationWageningen
Print ISBNs9789463437004
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • plants
  • parasitic plants
  • arabidopsis thaliana
  • solanum lycopersicum
  • host parasite relationships
  • plant growth regulators
  • resistance


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