Research into Striga dispersal
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CTA. 1995. Research into Striga dispersal. Spore 59. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47151
Parasitic flowering plants of the genus Striga cause extensive damage to cereal and legume crops in Africa, including maize and cowpea. Yield losses can be greater than 50'',. Both the extent and intensity of Striga damage appear to be increasing...
Parasitic flowering plants of the genus Striga cause extensive damage to cereal and legume crops in Africa, including maize and cowpea. Yield losses can be greater than 50'',. Both the extent and intensity of Striga damage appear to be increasing across the region, vet factors affecting the dispersal of Striga seeds have not been properly understood. A study, conducted by scientists of the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) at sites of high Striga infestation, examined the roles of different potential agents in the dispersal of the seeds of Striga in order to understand and control spread of the pest. One mechanism that may account for widespread parasite seed dispersal is the transportation (and often sale) of cowpea fodder from infested fields to areas deficient in animal feed during the dry season. Depending on location, inspection of the contents of a bundle of fodder can reveal the presence of seed-bearing plants of S. hermonthica, S. aspera, S. gesnerioides and Alectra vogelii. The four species may be found either individually or collectively since a]l of these parasites can occur within a single field. Control of this means of dispersal in Africa will be very difficult since transportation of fodder will continue during times of critical need for animal feed Spread of parasite seeds by fodder can be arrested only by the localized reduction of parasite populations in fodder-producing areas The overall results of these studies indicate that man, through agricultural produce and animal movement, is the primary factor in the dispersal of Stringa spp. This spread can only be controlled through farmer education and better awareness among staff of plant quarantine services. IITA PO Box 5320. Ibadan, NIGERIA