Interactions Between Rhinanthus minor and Its Hosts: A Review of Water, Mineral Nutrient and Hormone Flows and Exchanges in the Hemiparasitic Association

F. Jiang, W.D. Jeschke, W. Hartung, D.D. Cameron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

At the ecological level, the effects of the facultative root hemiparasite Rhinanthus minor on the structure and functioning of its host communities are relative well described; yet until recently, the mechanistic basis for parasitic plant-driven community change and the physiological basis for the host-parasite interaction were poorly understood. Empirical incremental flow models, based on the increase in water, mineral nutrients, carbon assimilates or phytohormones between two defined time points, have been successfully employed to investigate the physiology of resource acquisition by- and distribution within host-parasitic plant associations. In this study we review the application of these empirical flow models to Rhinanthus-host associations showing the extent of and physiological basis of resource abstraction from the host and how this is profoundly influenced by soil nutrient status. We show that Rhinanthus primarily abstracts water and mineral nutrients via the apoplastic pathway through direct lumen-lumen connections with little resource acquisition via symplastic pathways. Nutrient status of the soil is shown to significantly influence the resource acquisition. We also investigate the hormonal regulation of resource acquisition by Rhinanthus showing pivotal roles for the key for the phytohormones abscisic acid (ABA) and cytokinins.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369–385
Number of pages17
JournalFolia Geobotanica
Volume45
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • ABA
  • empirical flow model
  • Haustoria
  • mineral nutrients
  • parasitic plant
  • Rhinanthus minor

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