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Document Type : Review Article


1 Division of Agronomy, ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi – 110012, India

2 Centre for Environment Science and Climate Resilient Agriculture; ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi - 110012, India



Weeds are ubiquitous and eternal pests. In India, the total annual loss of agricultural produce by weeds, insects, diseases and other pests are estimated to be 37%, 29%, 22% and 12%, respectively. Weeds are, mainly, autotrophs, but few are heterotrophs/parasitic such as Orobanche/ Phelipanche sp (Broomrape). Several species that are dominant across the world are Orobanche cernua, Orobanche crenata, Phelipanche ramosa, Phelipanche aegyptiaca, Orobanche cumana, and Phelipanche muteli. Orobanche is an important holo-root parasitic weed and cause yield losses of many economically important crops. The damage by Orobanche can range from 0-100%. Studies highlighted annual crop losses due to Orobanche infestation was to the tune of $1.3 to 2.6 billion worldwide.A Orobanche plant can produce more than 500,000 seeds, whose longevity may vary from 2-20 years. The distribution, species diversity and biology of this weed have been discussed in this review. Sound management strategies involving physical, cultural, biological and chemical options, and above all, integrated Orobanche management have been contemplated as well. New bio-technological approach that must trigger to develop host plant’s resistance against Orobanche and recommended selective herbicides should be envisaged for better Orobanche management.


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