Resistance of Sorghum to Witchweed

Williams, C.N. (1959) Resistance of Sorghum to Witchweed. Nature, 184 (4697). pp. 1511-1512.

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STRAINS of Sorghum vulgare resistant to root parasite witchweed (Striga lutea) have been bred in South Africa over a number of years.1 One of these (var. 'Framida') is characterized by its inability to germinate the parasite seed, which requires a stimulatory substance normally excreted from the host plant roots. A comparison of the resistant variety 'Framida', and a susceptible variety 'Light Mori' (from Nigeria) illustrates this point very clearly. Seedlings of the two varieties were grown in coarse washed sand in 3-in. plastic pots (50 seedlings per pot) for a period of nine days at ambient temperature (23–31°C.). After this the root solutions were eluted with 20 ml. of distilled water. The eluted solutions were tested for their ability to germinate the parasite seed in Petri-dish culture at full strength (as eluted) and at dilutions of 1:10 and 1:100. Typical results are shown in Fig. 1. It can be seen that the concentration of germination stimulent from the susceptible variety ('Light Mori') is supra-optimal and that a dilution of 1:10 does not reduce germination of the parasite seeds significantly. In the resistant variety, however, a similar dilution reduces germination almost completely; while even at the highest concentration germination is significantly lower. Since it is unlikely that a concentration of root growth stimulant approaching that of the experimental conditions will be encountered in Nature, this seems to be at least one mechanism by which resistance is achieved

Item Type: Article
Author Affiliation: Botany Department, University College, Ibadan, Nigeria
Subjects: Crop Improvement
Divisions: Sorghum
Depositing User: Ms K Syamalamba
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2012 10:35
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2012 10:35
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