- Published: November 22, 2022
- Updated: November 22, 2022
- Language: English
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ABSTRACT An ongoing research since October 2017 until April 2017 is beingconducted in USM main campus and Bukit Dumbar regarding the relationshipbetween host and parasitic plants. From the research, few parasitic plants werefound comprising of 2 families. They are Cassytha filiformis fromLauraceae, and a species from Loranthaceae which is Loranthus globossus. INTRODUCTION Urban forest is a forest or a largearea of land covered or filled with trees and undergrowth that grow within cityor town. All the trees can be vary in species and each of them play a vitalrole in our ecosystem.
A lot of species can be found in the forest and they canbe woody plants, shrubs, and many more. Plants also can have some sort ofinteractions either it is interaction between animal and plant or theinteraction between plant and plant. An example between plant and plantinteraction is the interaction between host and its parasitic plant. A parasitic plant is a plant thatliving on other plant (host) in order to obtain nutritional requirements andextract water from the host plant. The special characteristic of parasiticplant is the haustorium.
Haustorium is a parasite-encoded organ or modifiedroot which helps the parasitic plant to attach and invade the host plant. Thereare basically two types of parasites which are holoparasite and hemiparasite. Holoparasite plants such as Rafflesia, usually depend on the host plant tosurvive as they are lacking in chlorophyll content. Hemiparasites on the otherhand, contain chlorophyll which make them able to carry out photosynthesis anddo not depend entirely on the host plant to survive, but somehow can bedependent to the host plant to some point of degree.
Hemiparasites can bedivided into two groups which are obligatory parasite and facultative parasite. Without the host plant, obligatory parasite could not complete its life cycleas opposed to facultative parasite as it can complete its life cycle evenwithout the host plant. Other than that, there are also someother types of parasitic plants that can be found such as stem parasite androot parasite. Stem parasites such as dodder plant (Cuscuta sp.), is aparasite that attaches to the host’s stem while root parasite mainly target, attack and attach to the root of the host. About 150 species from the genus Orobancheare root parasites.
LITERATURE REVIEW Haustoria Kuijt (1969) suggested thathaustorium is a special organ that can be found in all parasitic plants. Thisorgan of plant is important for the parasitic plants as it somehow connectsthem to the host plant. Based on Press, 1995; Graves, 1995, haustorium alsohelps the plants to penetrate to the stem or root of the host, taking all thematerials needed from the host such as nutrients, and water for survival. Meanwhile, according to Gaertner, 1950, haustorium has the capability to helpparasitic plants to complete their life cycle through physiological andbiochemical processes.
The appearance of haustoria are alsodiffer in each family such as Loranthaceae, Lauraceae, Scrophulariaceae, andViscaceae. For example, in Viscaceae, the primary haustorium grows verticallythrough the host tissue. Cortical strands develop which are orientated parallelto the surface. According to Salle, 1978, the cortical strands retain theirmitotic activity throughout the year, as opposed to the primary haustorium. Itis also suggested that the rise of secondary haustoria and aerial shoots aredue to the cortical strands. However, for Cuscuta sp. or also known asdodder, before the formation of true haustoria, it is suggested that thisspecies tends to form an ephemeral organ or “ prehaustoria”.
(Peruse, 19893), but not to Kuijt (1969), as those feature (prehaustoria) may not be ageneral feature. Besides that, there will be several changes of the haustoriumas it invades the host body (Thomson, 1925, Bennett, 1944 and Truscott, 1958). One of the factor that may give an influence to the organization anddifferentiation of dodder haustoria is the host species invaded (Kuijt, 1969).
Loranthaceae on the other hand, the secondaryroots or also known as epicortical roots are formed from the base of the plantor from branches which then producing secondary haustoria at irregularintervals (Kuijt, 1969). It is suggested that the epicortical roots expressionis affected by the host species. Besides that, the physiological interaction ofthe parasitic plants with the host also somehow affect the growth ofepicortical roots can either be promoted or inhibited in Loranthaceae.
Life cycle The life cycle ofparasitic plants can be divided into 3 stages The first stage is when theseedlings independently germinates, develops and its attachment to the hostplant happened to occur. Several factors such as temperature, oxygen, lightintensity and water play a key role for the well-growth of the seeds. Thesecond stage is called intrusive developmental phase. During this stage, the terminalhaustorium at the tip of the radicle develops. Next, the haustorium will invadethe host tissue and conductive connections with the host begins. Finally, thecompatible phase.
This phase explained how the haustorium develops based on itsability to overcome host resistance mechanisms and to compete with host organs forresources. Dispersion The growth of parasiticplants are influenced by the agent that helps in dispersing them. According toDawson and Lucas (2005), it shows that some parasitic plants from Loranthaceaein Australia and Asia are dispersed by birds from the genus Dicaeum. In Africa, birds from Nectariniidae family are said to be the pollinators for the parasiticplants. These birds are attracted by the colourful flowers of the parasiticplants which then happened to initiate the growth of parasitic plants. Otherthan that, some of the parasites from Loranthaceae are also dispersed byinsects that live in the aerial root of the plant by attacking or invading theplant tissue. (Kuijt, 1964). EXPECTED RESULT It is expected that more species of parasites can be found in USMmain campus and Bukit Dumbar.
Humidity and light intensity might give impactson the growth on parasite on the host plant. The growth of parasitic plant isrelated to the agent that helps in dispersing the seed of the parasitic plant. DISCUSSION More parasitic plants can be found and identified in the researchsite as they may not be too “ selective” in choosing and growing onany host plant as long as they can survive by robbing all the nutrients thatthey need from the host plant. Also, light intensity may be one of the factorthat contributes to the growth of many parasitic plants as they usually arefound on the top layer of tree canopy in order for them to carry outphotosynthesis. An agent like birds help in dispersing the seed of theparasitic plants.
For example, some parasitic plants produce fruits and theywill be eaten by the birds and then it will be released into other places inthe bird’s droppings. Since parasitic plants tend to give few problems to theforest ecosystem, the growth of these parasites must be controlled so that wecan maintain a good environment for all living organisms. For example, it issuggested that, by using diesel with DNBP (4, 6-dinitro-O-sec-butylphenol), andPCP (pentachlorophenol) or 2, 4-D on certain parasitic plants, the growth ofparasitic plants can be reduced. CONCLUSION As for now, two species of parasitic plants were found and it isbelieved that many other species will be found and recorded for this research.
As we know, most of parasitic plants do give an impact to the host plant byslowly causing the host plant to die. In order to minimize the growth of theseparasitic plants, a lot of efforts need to be done. One of them is bycontrolling the growth of the parasitic plants by pruning the infected areaconsistently before the condition is getting worse.
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