Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
What is Striga

What is Striga

Ratings: (0)|Views: 373|Likes:
Published by elfijio
witchweed document
witchweed document

More info:

Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: elfijio on Dec 28, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as DOC, PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





According to Raynal-Roques (1996) Striga spp. belongs to a group of weedsgenerally known as witch weeds belonging to the family
whilstother authors call the family
. This family includes eight genera of root hemiparasites that damage crops. Forty
spp have been reportedworldwide: 33 in Africa and seven in Asia. At least 11 species are known toattack important agricultural cereal crops such as maize and sorghum [
(L.) Moench]. Rowland (1993) claims that Striga has been given thecommon name of "witch weed" because of the various debilitating effects inflictedupon its host in addition to attaching to the roots and robbing the host of water and nutrients.The parasitic seed plant of most importance in Africa is the genus
Plants, Subkingdom
Vascular plants,Superdivision
  – Seed plants, Division
– Floweringplants, Class
Dicotyledons. Subclass
. Orde
. Family
– Figwort family. Genus
Members of this genus are obligate annual hemiparasites; they arechlorophyllous, but require a host to complete their life cycle (Musselman, 1987).Although 30 or more species of 
have been described, only 5 are presentlyof economic importance in Africa (Ramaiah,
et a
., 1983). These are, inapproximate order of economical importance in Africa,
Striga hermonthica
Striga asiatica
(L.) Kuntze,
Striga gesnerioides
(Willd.) Vatke,
(Willd.) Benth., and
Striga forbesii 
Benth. All except
S. gesnerioides
areparasites of Africa's cereal crops sorghum, millet, maize, and rice.
is a parasite on cowpea and other wild legumes.
According to CDFA (2006) and PIER (2006)
striga is
native to semi-arid andtropical grassland regions of Africa and Asia, but can also flourish in temperateregions outside its natural range. It is primarily associated with agricultural lands,especially those with light soils and/or low nitrogen fertility where it infests a widerange of grass crops (maize, millet, rice, sorghum, sugarcane) and somei
broadleaf crops (e.g. sunflower, tomatoes, some legumes). It will also be found ingrasslands. It does not grow in wet conditionsRowland (1993) asserts that two species of the genus
Striga spp
attack sorghum,millet, and maize while another is specific to cowpeas. Depending upon theextent of infestation, reductions in per hectare grain yield of 30-60% arecommon. Rowland (1993) concurs with CDFA (2006) and PIER (2006) thatStriga is most severe in low moisture, low fertility soils and the thousands of seeds it produces can remain dormant but viable for many years.Infestations reduce yields and contaminate crops. Yield losses of 5-15% arecommon, although locally, under severe infestations, losses can far exceed thisamount. Some
striga spp.
impairs photosynthesis of susceptible maize hoststhrough limiting stomatal conductance and sensitises infested plants to photoinhibition. Symptoms in host plants include stunting, chlorosis, and wilting(CDFA, 2006). According to CABI. (2001)
Striga spp
. attacks important cropssuch as: corn, sorghum, sugar cane, and rice. It is also known to parasitisecertain weedy grasses. Striga spp robs nutrients and moisture by tapping directlyinto a host's root system. The host expends energy supporting
Striga spp
. growthat its own expense.
Striga spp
will grow in the presence of grassy weeds as wellas grass host crops, so cotton, peanut, or soyabean fields-along with homegardens or idle land-may harbor this species.The witchweed
decimates maize, millet, sorghum, upland rice and Napier throughout sub-Sahara Africa. From the high plateau of East Africa wherepeasant farmers struggle to survive on tiny fields of maize, to the arid savannasof northern Nigeria where they rely on sorghum, African farmers today arefighting a losing battle against the
is nevertheless morethan just an unwanted weed growing in fields meant to produce food. In additionto draining photosynthate, minerals and water,
does most of its damage toits host through phytotoxins before the weed emerges from the soil. Striga is aii
parasite plant that survives by literally sucking nutrients out of the crops thatAfrican farmers use to feed their families.
exerts its toll on crops byinserting a sort of underground hypodermic into the roots of growing plants,siphoning off water and nutrients for its own growth.
Lifecycle stages
General life cycle of 
 species (courtesy E. I. Aigbokhan)
flowers and sheds seeds within the life cycle of its host. Seeds are tiny (<0.3 mm) and one plant can produce 50,000-200,000 of them. At typicalinfestation densities of 20 plants/m
, annual increases in the size of the
seedbank in soil are tremendous. Moreover, unless stimulated to germinate,seeds may remain dormant and viable in the soil for up to 20 years.
inflictsmost damage on the crop before the weed emerges from the soil. Attachmentmay occur as early as 2 weeks after germination of maize, depending on the sizeiii

Activity (3)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 thousand reads
1 hundred reads
jolobrok9615 liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->