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Review
, 15 (4), 227-35

The Evolution of Parasitism in Plants

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Review

The Evolution of Parasitism in Plants

James H Westwood et al. Trends Plant Sci.

Abstract

The multiple independent origins of plant parasitism suggest that numerous ancestral plant lineages possessed the developmental flexibility to meet the requirements of a parasitic life style, including such adaptations as the ability to recognize host plants, form an invasive haustorium, and regulate the transfer of nutrients and other molecules between two different plants. In this review, we focus on the Orobanchaceae, which are unique among the parasitic plants in that extant member species include the full range of host dependence from facultative to obligate parasites. The recent emergence of genomic resources for these plants should provide new insights into parasitic plant evolution and enable the development of novel genetic strategies for controlling parasitic weeds.

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