Crenate broomrape is a major constraint for legume production in Mediterranean and East Asian countries. Resistance to this parasitic weed is scarce in many legumes but is common in chickpea germ plasm. A detailed in vitro study has shown that resistance in chickpea is the result of the combination of at least two mechanisms. First, and most importantly, the two chickpea lines studied have been identified with low rates of stimulant production. Once germination is induced by exogenous applications of the synthetic germination stimulant GR24, thus overcoming the primary resistance mechanism in these lines, a second resistance mechanism is apparent. This is evidenced by a darkening of host cell tissue in contact with the broomrape radicle, leading to failure of establishment, which was frequently observed in the chickpea accessions. Anatomical studies have shown that this apparently “hypersensitive” response does not correspond with the death of host cells in contact with the parasite cells but corresponds to blocking and death of the penetration structures of the parasite.
Nomenclature: Crenate broomrape, Orobanche crenata Forsk. ORACR; chickpea, Cicer arietinum L. CICAR.