Orobanche cumana (sunflower broomrape) is an obligatory and non-photosynthetic root parasitic plant that specifically infects the sunflower. It is located in Europe and in Asia, where it can cause yield losses of over 80%. More aggressive races have evolved, mainly around the Black Sea, and broomrape can rapidly spread to new areas. Breeding for resistance seems to be the most efficient and sustainable approach to control broomrape infestation. In our study, we used a population of 101 recombinant inbred lines (RILs), derived from a cross between the two lines HA89 and LR1 (a line derived from an interspecific cross with H. debilis). Rhizotrons, pots and field experiments were used to characterize all RILs for their resistance to O. cumana race F parasitism at three post vascular connection life stages: (i) early attachment of the parasite to the sunflower roots, (ii) young tubercle and (iii) shoot emergence. In addition, RIL resistance to race G at young tubercle development stage was evaluated in pots. The entire population was genotyped, and QTLs were mapped. Different QTLs were identified for each race (F from Spain and G from Turkey) and for the three stages of broomrape development. The results indicate that there are several quantitative resistance mechanisms controlling the infection by O. cumana that can be used in sunflower breeding.
Louarn, J., Boniface, M.-C., Pouilly, N., Velasco, L., Pérez-Vich, B., Vincourt, P., & Muños, S. (2016). Sunflower Resistance to Broomrape (Orobanche cumana) Is Controlled by Specific QTLs for Different Parasitism Stages. Frontiers in Plant Science, 7. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2016.00590