News on... PhD-project 1

Parasite ruins African rice culture

At a first glance, Rhamphicarpa fistulosa might look innocent, but it turns rice plants into slaves. PhD candidate Stella Kabiri investigated the effects of this parasitic weed that damages the African rice production at an ever-increasing rate. It is nothing new that Rhamphicarpa fistulosa has been parasitising rice in many African countries, but Kabiri studied how this vampiric plant exhausts the rice

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Symposium and PhD defence Stella Kabiri

PhD defence Stella Kabiri On Friday 1 September 2017, Stella Kabiri will defend her PhD-thesis at 11.00 a.m. in the Aula of Wageningen University, Generaal Foulkesweg 1a in Wageningen, the Netherlands You are cordially invited to attend the public defence of the thesis entitled: "Ecology and Biology of Rhamphicarpa fistulosa, a New Parasitic Weed of Rain-fed Rice (Oryza sativa) in sub-Saharan

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NEW PUBLICATION: Facultative parasitism of Rice Vampireweed

A new paper ‘Host influence on germination and reproduction of the facultative hemi-parasitic weed Rhamphicarpa fistulosa’ was published in Annals of Applied biology in which the germination ecology and parasitism of the facultative parasitic plant, Rhamphicarpa fistulosa (Rice Vampireweed) were investigated in comparison with the obligate parasitic plant Striga hermonthica (Purple Witchweed). We hypothesized that, being a wetland species, germination of

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New video on how African rice farmers can reduce Striga problems in their crop

New video on how African rice farmers can reduce Striga problems in their crop A farmer-to-farmer instruction video on the parasitic weed Striga and soil management in upland rice has been produced by the Africa Rice Center(AfricaRice) and its partners as part of the African Development Bank-funded project ‘Support to Agricultural Research for Development of Strategic Crops in Africa (SARD-SC). Striga is a

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Seminar on the PARASITE Project at FAO

On Monday 10th August 2015, Josey Kamanda gave a talk entitled "Preparing African Rice Farmers Against Parasitic Weeds in a Changing Environment (PARASITE): A Transdisciplinary Approach" at the FAO headquarters in Rome. The talk was part of a seminar series for FAO's Plant Production and Protection Division (AGP). Dr Gualbert Gbèhounou – a member of the PARASITE project, also attended the

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Stella Kabiri awarded best-poster-award EWRS

During the recent EWRS (European Weed Research Society)-symposium on ‘Weed Management in Changing Environments’ held in SupAgro, Montpellier, France, from 23-26 June 2015, Stella Kabiri was awarded the prestigious best-poster-award. The title of her poster was: ‘Exploring the life-history strategy of the facultative root parasitic weed Rhamphicarpa fistulosa’. In her poster, co-authored by Aad van Ast, Jonne Rodenburg and Lammert

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New paper: Can Striga and Rhamphicarpa co-occur in rain-fed rice?

Stella Kabiri's first paper has been published in Weed Research. The paper describes how Striga asiatica and Rhamphicarpa fistulosa are parasitic weeds of rain-fed rice that are partly distributed in similar regions in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).  Particularly in Tanzania, these two parasites are present in farmers’ fields in the same rice growing landscape. The paper demonstrates a non-overlapping ecological range between the habitats of these two weeds that is dependent

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New paper: NERICA rice cultivars and their resistance to Striga

Please find attached a new paper on parasitic weeds published in Field Crops Research. The online link is: http://authors.elsevier.com/sd/article/S0378429014002883 Summary The parasitic weeds Striga asiatica and Striga hermonthica cause high yield losses in rain-fed upland rice in Africa. Two resistance classes (pre- and post-attachment) and several resistant genotypes have been identified among NERICA (New Rice for Africa) cultivars under laboratory conditions (in vitro) previously. However, little

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MSc-thesis defence Luuk van Dijk

On 29 September 2014, Luuk van Dijk defended his MSc-thesis research entitled: "Influence of parasitic weeds on rice-weed competition". Luuk was supervised by Lammert Bastiaans and Aad van Ast. Niels Anten was the external examiner of the thesis. Luuk's presentation can be found here. Thesis abstract Over the last decades rice (Oryza spp) became more important as a staple food crop

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Blog on Parasitic Weeds: “Unknown rice parasite threatens harvests in Africa”

Few agronomists are familiar with Rhamphicarpa fistulosa, a fragile weed with white flowers, from the broomrape family. Yet this root parasite is increasingly affecting rice cultivation in Africa. This has become clear from the initial results of the research programme PARASITE on parasitic weeds in rice in sub-Saharan Africa. The rice pest was described by the Beninese agronomist Gualbert Gbèhounou

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Parasite progress workshop 17 June 2014

On Tuesday 17 June 2014, the Parasite team met for a workshop in Wageningen, the Netherlands. The key objective of the workshop was to discuss (1) overall progress of the different subprojects (including completed activities and outputs), (2) present work in progress (ongoing activities/ paper(s) in preparation), and (3) the way forward (planning and to be developed outputs). The presentations

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MSc research Luuk van Dijk

For his MSc thesis at the Crop and Weed Ecology group of Wageningen University Luuk van Dijk set up two rice pot experiments. The objective of these experiments is to understand whether crop-weed competition in rice is affected by the co-existence of a root parasitic weed. This objective resulted from observations done in 2013 in experiments at the trial fields

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Field visit to the experimental sites in Kyela

From 11 to 17 May 2014, Lammert and Aad visited Tanzania. The main purpose of this trip was to visit Kyela, where Dennis is conducting field experiments for his PhD. In Kyela, the experiments are laid out at two sites: one infested with Striga asiatica and a very similar second site, at a slightly lower altitude, infested with Rhamphicarpa fistula.

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Africa Rice Congress, 21-25 October 2013, Yaoundé, Cameroon

Between 21 and 25 October 2013, the 3rd Africa Rice Congress was held in Yaoundé, Cameroon. The Parasite programme was well represented at the congress. During the first two days of the congress, several thematic sessions were organised. Different papers and posters were presented by members of the Parasite team: Jonne Rodenburg and Marc Schut presented the overall programme and

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2nd Prize for Stella Kabiri in the Africa-wide women and young professionals science competition

Stella Kabiri participated in the 6th African Agricultural Science week and Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) held between 15 and 20 July, in Accra, Ghana. She formed part of the finals of the 3rd Africa-wide women and young professionals science competition. After two rounds of competition, Stella received an invitation to present her paper on: “Landscape scale management

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Parasite Programme presentations during the World Congress on Parasitic Plants, Sheffield, UK

Between 16 and 19 July 2013, the 12th World Congress on Parasitic Plants was held in Sheffield, UK. The congress brought together scientists representing a wide spectrum of disciplines, research approaches, and geographical representation of parasitic plant research. Our Parasite Programme was well represented during the congress. Jonne Rodenburg gave 5 minute plenary oral presentation on a poster of PhD-project 1 entitled: “Ecological niche differences

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European Weed Research Society Symposium, Turkey

Lammert Bastiaans will represent the Parasite programme during the 16th symposium of the European Weed Research Society. The Symposium will be held between 24 and 27 June 2013 in Samsun, Turkey. An abstract has been accepted for poster presentation. Both have been uploaded on the Parasite website. For more information, please visit: www.ewrs2013.org.

MSc-thesis presentation Stefanie Pflug

On 29 May 2013, Stefanie Pflug presented the results of her research conducted at Wageningen University, the Netherlands. In her experiments she studied the interaction between the parasitic weed Rhamphicarpa fistulosa and its host rice (Oryza sativa). The research focussed on two aspects of the host-parasite interaction: 1) The influence of host plant size, developmental stage and parasite size on growth of both

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Willingness of farmers to adopt rice intercrops in Uganda

Stella Kabiri has co-authored a publication that analyses the willingness of farmers to adopt rice intercrops in the Lake Victoria Crescent Agro-ecological Zone of Uganda. Paper summary In Uganda we found that upland rice farmers spent more time cultivating rice, an income crop that is labour intensive, at the expense of other food security crops. The problem was that when rice failed

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Rhamphicarpa in Uganda

Together with Prof. Julie Scholes, of the University of Sheffield, Jonne Rodenburg and Mamadou Cissoko visited Uganda to select a field site for the DFID, BBSRC and Bill & Melinda Gates funded STRIGA project and to discuss with farmers and partners from Makerere University and Africa2000. On our field trip we observed Striga infested rice in the uplands and, unexpectedly

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Parasite Programme mid-term workshop, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Between 22 and 26 April 2013 the Parasite Programme mid-term workshop was held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The workshop was attended by 19 participants from the Netherlands, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. Among the participants were the programme leaders, PhD-candidates, postdoctoral researchers, supervisors, advisors and the FAO Weed Officer who was one of the original co-applicants of the Parasite programme. The main objective of

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Update PhD-project 1

Stella Kabiri has been working on two manuscripts. The first paper is titled, ‘Ecological differences between Rhamphicarpa fistulosa and Striga asiatica in parasitism of rain-fed rice in Sub-Saharan Africa’. This paper describes that both Rhamphicarpa, a facultative parasite and Striga spp., an obligate parasite, have their distribution in similar regions in the continent. Yet rice cultivation has been driven into the

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MSc-research and colloquium Djoeke Langeloo

In January 2012 I started my MSc thesis research within the Parasite Programme. My research focussed on the reproductive success of the parasitic weeds Striga asiatica and Rhamphicarpa fistulosa. In particular, I explored how the reproductive success was affected by different rice sowing dates, rice varieties and parasitic weed seed densities. The first two aspects were studied in two field

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Summary mid-term review Parasite Programme

On 11 December 2012 Ms. Marije Severs and Ms. Han van Dijk of NWO/WOTRO visited Wageningen for the mid-term review of the Parasite programme. In preparation of the meeting, the Parasite programme team prepared a self-evaluation in line with the WOTRO progress report. The meeting started with a presentation by Lammert Bastiaans and Marc Schut, who reflected on the objectives

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Update PhD-research Stella Kabiri

This is an update on the first part of my experimental season in Wageningen university, The Netherlands (June-November 2011) and (December-July 2012) at Africa Rice Center in collaboration with Mikocheni Agricultural Research Institute in Tanzania. In these two periods I have conducted greenhouse experiments and a field survey in Kyela, a rice growing district in Tanzania. The experiments investigated  the

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MSc-research Damien Lenglet

Damien Lenglet is an Erasmus student in Wageningen since February 2012. He started his internship at the Crop and Weed Ecology Group in May and will finish on August 31. Damien pursues an MSc in Crop Science in Anger (France) at the Ecole Supérieure d'Agriculture (ESA). During his internship he is supervised by Aad van Ast and Lammert Bastiaans. Rhamphicarpa

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Interesting websites for agricultural research in Tanzania, Benin and Cote d’Ivoir

In this post you find some very interesting websites that can support our research in Tanzania, Benin and Cote d'Ivoir. Tanzania This website provides an overview of Agricultural Legislations and Regulations in Tanzania – http://www.kilimo.go.tz/legislation%20and%20regulations/legislations/legislations.htm. There is even a document that contains the Rules of the Plant Protection Act (2010) specifically on Striga. Another interesting website provides an overview of the Agricultural

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MSc-research Djoeke Langeloo

I am studying the reproductive success of Striga asiatica and Rhamphicarpa fistulosa related to different sowing dates and crop cycle length. So I am looking if the number of capsules and the number of seeds produced by the weeds will change with a different sowing date of the rice (sown between half December 2011 and half February 2012) and/or with different crop

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