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The parasitic way of life of parentucellia latifolia scrophulariaceae

The parasitic way of life of parentucellia latifolia scrophulariaceae

Beitraege zur Biologie der Pflanzen 60(1): 23-34

Root parasitism of Parentucellia latifolia is shown for the first time. The structure of the secondary haustoria is described. The plants are not host specific. They can germinate and grow in the laboratory under simple conditions without the presence of host plants. Damage of the hosts could not be observed in the field. Beside host roots, rhizomes, bacteria nodules, and galls are also attacked. The haustoria with only 0.1-0.6 mm in diameter attacks thinner host roots by developing lobes. The anatomy of haustorial differentiations is similar to those of other Scrophulariaceae: Small haustorial tissue, being a derivate of the pericycle; large haustorial tissue, forming a secondary cortex meristem; and the intrusive part, which is a derivative of the large haustorial tissue (located in the centre), and only comprises a few prosenchymatic cells. In these tissues xylem elements occur in differentiation of older stages. Because of all distinctive structures it is possible to place Parentucellia latifolia together with other small annual root parasites at the beginning of a phylogenetic tendency of parasitism. The occurrence of VAM fungi in the roots of Parentucellia latifolia is considered important, since also as in certain other members of the Scrophylariaceae evolution from mycorrhiza plants to parasites may have taken place.

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