Current Status, Economic importance and Management of Dodders (Cuscuta Spp) of Important Crops

Nagassa Dechassa


Dodders (Cuscuta spp.) are one of the worst weeds that causes economic damage to economically valued crops. Cuscuta campestris, C. kilimanjari, C. reflexa, C. australis, C. suaveolens, C. hyalina, C. cassytoides, C. epilinum and C. planiflora are the most widespread Cuscuta species globally. Most of them are originated in North America and later distributed to many countries in the world. Coffea spp., Camellia sinensis, Glycine max, Allium cepa and Phaseolus spp. are the major hosts of the weed. Dodders are holoparasites, which lack chlorophyll and derive all their resources from their host and impose serious damage to their hosts. Cultural practices such as planting non-host cereal crops by removing host plants; regular monitoring and removal of new dodder weeds and mixed cropping of host crop with non-host crops is effective in managing the weed. Besides, biological control by use of parasitic fungi (Alternaria destruens, Fusarium tricinctum, Alternaria alternata, Geotrichum candidum and Alternaria spp and Colletotrichum gloeosporioides) play a role in managing the weed. In addition, chemical control with pre-emergence herbicides (pronamide, trifluralin and pendimethalin) and post-emergence herbicides (pelargonic acid, imazamox, imazethapyr and paraquat) are effective to control dodders in many crops in extreme cases. Integrated use of herbicidal and mechanical control measures is effective in control, economically safe, socially acceptable and environmentally friendly than a single control measure. Moreover, host specific integrated Cuscuta Spp. management should be designed.

Keywords: Cuscuta campestris, Hautoria, Holoparasite, Parasitic weeds, Stem parasite

DOI: 10.7176/ALST/87-04

Publication date: April 30th 2021

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