Preeti Kumari1, S. K. Tiwari2 and A. K. Choudhary1

1Department of Botany, Ranchi University, Ranchi, India, 834002. 2BRSM College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, IGAU, Raipur (C.G.), India


The Cuscuta reflexa Roxb. is an angiospermic leaf less parasitic plant belonging to the family Convolvulaceae and it directly attaches to the host plants through the haustoria. During this investigation we found that the Cuscuta reflexa Roxb. is a hemi-and holoparasite, living on wood, fruit yielding and medicinally important plants species. In the present study systematic survey and identification of the host plants has been undertaken. Surveys were conducted to find out the host plants of Cuscuta reflexa Roxb. from different localities of Betla National Park areas of Jharkhand, India. In a survey 32 species, representing 30 genera belonging to 23 families were recorded as host plants of Cuscuta. Host plants were also examined for anatomical and biochemical studies. Cuscuta haustorium penetration in host stem and size of the haustorium was specific to host and Cuscuta species. Each transverse section of host stem shows Cuscuta haustorium reaching up to the secondary xylem. Poly-phenol oxidase activity and protein content have also been studied in healthy and infected stems of Zizyphus mauritiana, Cajanus cajan and Ficus glomerata by Cuscuta reflexa. The common trend of enzyme activity is stimulatory in infected host plants. It is interesting to note that the protein content is markedly stimulated in all infected host plants. The maximum stimulation occurs in Zizyphus mauritiana compared to all host plants. We have also studied impact of Cuscuta reflexa and found that it has major impacts on host growth, allometry and reproduction, which lead to changes in competitive balances between host and non host species and therefore affect community structure, vegetation and population dynamics. Impacts on hosts may further affect herbivores, pollinators and seed vectors, and the behaviour and diversity of these is often closely linked to the presence and abundance of parasitic plants.

Key words :

Download FullText