Broomrapes (Orobanche and Phelipanche spp.) are obligate root parasites that spend most of their life cycle in the soil subsurface, making them hard to detect. In these underground developmental stages, broomrapes are highly sensitive to herbicides, and therefore knowledge of the dynamics of their parasitism is essential to precisely apply herbicide for their control. To address these complexities, two approaches have been proposed: (1) estimating the temporal variation in parasitism dynamics and predicting broomrape parasitism on its host by thermal time; (2) characterizing the spatial variation in infestation within and between fields by using a geographical information system and a global positioning system. In addition, the use of molecular markers to identify broomrape infestation (species and amount) in the field can contribute to determining its spatial distribution, which can then be used for site-specific weed management. In this paper, we discuss how technology can be optimized for control of the root-parasitic broomrapes. Special attention is given to the development of integrative approaches. An example of a decision support system for the rational management of Egyptian broomrape in processing tomato is given.
Nomenclature: Egyptian broomrape, Phelipanche aegyptiaca Pers. (syn. Orobanche aegyptiaca) ORAAE; tomato, Solanum lycopersicon L.