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Advances in Parasitic Weed research

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Parasitic weeds are becoming a severe constraint to agriculture and major crop production, and the efficacy of available means to control them is minimal. The main focus of research to date on parasitic weeds has been on their biology and management when infecting important crops. Control strategies have ...

Parasitic weeds are becoming a severe constraint to agriculture and major crop production, and the efficacy of available means to control them is minimal. The main focus of research to date on parasitic weeds has been on their biology and management when infecting important crops. Control strategies have centred around agronomic practices, resistant varieties and the use of herbicides. There is, thus, a need to re-evaluate control methods in the light of recent developments in parasitic weeds biology, crop breeding and molecular genetics and to place these within a framework that is compatible with current agronomic practices. Novel integrated control programmes should be sympathetic to agricultural extensification while exerting minimal harmful effects on the environment. In addition, global environmental change, together with changing land use patterns, means that some geographical areas and farming systems that do not currently suffer from parasitic weeds in Europe could become affected within coming decades. It is, therefore, imperative to pre-empt the spread of parasitic weeds and to consider, for example, how quarantine regulations might achieve this. The goal of this Research Topic is not only to present the most advanced research dealing with the management of parasitic weeds, but also to attract valuable articles on biology, physiology of parasitism, genetics, population dynamics, resistance, host-parasite relationships, regulation of seed germination, etc., in order to offer an outstanding windows to these enigmatic plants, and contribute to their practical management.


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