Parasitic plants, including the root holoparasites Orobanche spp., cause devastating damage to crops worldwide. Arabidopsis thaliana is widely used as an amenable model plant system to study host–pathogen interactions. Understanding the molecular basis involved in host–parasite interactions will provide practical tools for the detection of genes responsible for incompatibility and resistance responses. In preliminary petri dish experiments, A. thaliana induced seed germination of O. aegyptiaca, O. minor, and O. ramosa at the rate of 87, 72, and 67% of maximum seed germination, respectively. Arabidopsis thaliana induction of O. crenata and O. cumana seeds was negligible (less than 2% of maximum germination). In additional polyethylene bag studies, A. thaliana was parasitized by O. aegyptiaca, O. ramosa, and O. minor resulting in 12, 5, and 2 parasites per host plant, respectively. The results facilitate the use of A. thaliana in host-parasitic plant interaction research.
Nomenclature: Orobanche aegyptiaca Pers. ORAAE, Egyptian broomrape; Orobanche crenata Forsk. ORACR, crenate broomrape; Orobanche cumana = Orobanche cernua Loefl. ORACE, nodding broomrape; Orobanche minor Sm. ORAMI, small broomrape; Orobanche ramosa L. ORARA, branched broomrape; Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. ARBTH ‘Columbia’, mouse-ear cress.