Parasitic Weeds of Jordan: Species, Hosts, Distribution and Management

Volume: 1

General Introduction

Author(s): Jamal Ragheb Said Qasem

Pp: vii-xiii (7)

DOI: 10.2174/9781681088747122010005


Parasitism is a phenomenon of widespread importance among angiosperms and there are at least
five orders having parasitic species (Musselman, 1982) that evolved independently in 20 plant
families (Musselman, 1987) and comprising 3000-5000 species (Musselman, 1987; Sauerborn,
2001). Almost 4200 species of haustorial parasitic plants are spread in the world, representing just
over 1% of all flowering plants. Nickrent (2002) reported that the total number of parasite species
is not distributed evenly among the 18 families or 274 genera. Aly (2007) reported that about 20
families (3,000–5,000 species) of higher plants are parasitic in the plant kingdom and may cause
production losses of 30–80% in staple food and industrial crops in every continent. Westwood et
al. (2010) mentioned parasitic weeds include approximately 3,900 species included in more than
20 plant families consist the important genera Striga, Orobanche and Cuscuta. Fernández-
Aparicio et al. (2011) reported at least 4500 plant species within 270 genera in over 22 families
predominantly angiosperms rely on a parasitic association with a host plant for their mineral
nutrition, water and/or carbon supply. Heide-Jorgensen (2013) mentioned that the total number of
world parasitic plants account for 4500 species present in 275 genera of 28 botanical families.
However, in a recent molecular study, Nickrent (2020) reported the occurrence of 4700 species
that belong to 290 genera of parasitic angiosperms.... 

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