• Quae

Orobanche spp.

The "broomrape" is a widespread parasitic plant that causes considerable damage in some countries. It occurs also in France, but its impact on tobacco is limited. Seven species of Orobanche spp. parasitize tobacco. The appearance of white, yellow or purple tufts at the base of tobacco plant characterises the parasite’s  presence (figure 1). It can be also observed on roots, the radicle of the broomrape plant becomes attached to the tobacco root and absorbs mineral elements essential to its growth from the host (figure 2). Tobacco plants are weakened, often smaller and stunted, with low leaf quality. Control of this highly polyphagous plant is quite difficult because of its enormous potential for dissemination and survival.

For further information see the fact sheet of Orobanche ramosa.
In some countries (USA, Italy and Central America), white and succulent shoots of several inches, looking like broomrape are sometimes observed. This symptom is called "false broomrape". These shoots from buds, initiating from tobacco plant roots, could be caused by a hormonal imbalance of the plant. Similar symptoms have been associated with effects of the  Gram + bacterium, Rhodococcus fascians(Tifford) Goodfellow.

Last change : 02/01/13
  • Author :
  • D Blancard (INRA)
Figure 1
Figure 2