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Systematics Section / ASPT

Wolfe, Andrea D. [1], Arguedas, Nidia [1].

Identifying host plants of Hyobanche L. (Orobanchaceae) by DNA sequencing of host root tissue.

Hyobanche L. is a small genus of holoparasitic plants in southern Africa. Species of Hyobanche occur in a variety of habitats ranging from coastal sand dune scrub to deserts of the Karoo and Namaqualand to alpine rock outcrops and grasslands of the Drakensberg and Lesotho. Most of the biomass of this parasitic plant is underground in the form of fragile, branching rhizomes. The plant lacks a root system, but takes in water, mineral nutrients and reduced carbon from unique secondary leaf haustoria along the length of the rhizome, which are attached to host roots. Because the rhizomes are typically long, the inflorescence emerging above ground may be a considerable distance from the actual host plant. However, most host plants have been inferred in terms of their close proximity to the parasite inflorescence. It is extremely difficult to excavate an intact parasite rhizome system with the host root connections, which would lead to a positive identification of the host plant. To identify host plants of Hyobanche, rhizome systems were carefully excavated and the host root tissues attached to haustoria were collected for DNA extraction and sequencing. Positive identification of host plants included Chrysanthemoides, Metalasia, Passarina, Disparago, and Bromus.

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1 - Ohio State University, Department of Ecology, Evolution, & Organismal Biology, 300 Aronoff Laboratory, 318 W. 12Th Avenue, Columbus, Ohio, 43210-1293, USA

Parasitic plants
host plant identification.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 25-13
Location: 410/Hilton
Date: Tuesday, August 16th, 2005
Time: 11:30 AM
Abstract ID:411

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