Parasitic plants in African agriculture—A growing problem
Presented By: Dr Lytton John Musselman
Event: ECHO International Agriculture Conference 2018 (2018-11-13)
Mistletoes (parasitic shrubs from diverse families), dodders (species of Cuscuta); and witchweeds and their relatives, Striga, Alectra, and Rhamphicarpa species are major constraints on African crops especially in grain and legume production. They are highly specialized weeds so understanding their unique biology is essential for control because they damage before being detected. A first step in control is sanitation through clean crop seed and destruction of the parasites after weeding. Breeding for resistance and the “push-pull” technique have shown promising results.
Dr Lytton John Musselman
Dr. Lytton John Musselman is Mary Payne Hogan Distinguished Professor of Botany at Old Dominion University and has researched Striga as a Fulbright Professor at the University of Khartoum; as a consultant to the Striga program at the International Institute of Agriculture in Ibadan, Nigeria; a program evaluator for the UNDP witchweed program in Cameroon, and worked with universities and NARS in many African countries. He is presently the Lead Author of the Diagnostic Protocol for Striga spp. for the International Plant Protection Convention Secretariat (IPPC) Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO/UN).