Complete Root Parasite – Broom Rape
1. In some areas of the world, broom rape cause losses varying from 15 to 70 % of the crop, Orobanche spp. are total root parasites affecting tobacco, Brinjal, Tomato, Cauliflower, Turnip and many other solanaceous and cruciferous plants.
2. It is especially destructive to tobacco and Brinjal. The parasite consists of a stount, fleshy stem 15 to 50 cm long. This stem is yellow or brownish red in colour and is covered by small thin and brown scaly leaves.
3. The flower appearing in the axil of the leaves are white and tubular seeds are very small and black in colour and many remain viable in soil for several years.
4. The haustoria of the parasite penetrate into the root of the hosts and draw it nourishment. When the host is carefully uprooted, the parasitic roots are seen intertwined with the host root systems; the growth of the host is retarded and remains stunted.
Control Measures of Broom Rape:
1. Destroy the parasite before flowering.
2. Long crop rotation.
3. Spraying the soil with 0.25% copper sulphate (drenching) solution has been reported to be successful in destroying the parasites.
4. Fumigating the soil with methyl bromide.
5. It was recently reported that broom tapes were effectively control after treatment with the herbicides “Glyphosate”.