News International Sugar Journal

Researchers develop suicidal germination as a control strategy for the parasitic weed Striga hermonthica [Full subscriber]

Striga hermonthica, also known as purple witchweed, is an invasive parasitic plant that threatens food production in sub-Saharan Africa. It is estimated to ruin up to 40 per cent of the region’s staple crops, the equivalent of $7 billion -10 billion, putting the livelihoods and food supplies of 300 million people in danger. Control options exist, such as herbicides and mechanical removal, but they are costly and do not address the problem of the huge reserve of Striga seeds buried in the soil. Now, researchers from Saudi Arabia, Burkina Faso, Japan, and the Netherlands have demonstrated that a technique called…

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