Aad van Ast

Contact details:

Name: Dr Ing. Aad van Ast
Institute: Wageningen University and Research Centre
Department: Crop Systems Analysis
Email: aad.vanast@wur.nl
Address: CSA, Droevendaalsesteeg 1, 6708 PB Wageningen, the Netherlands
Mobile phone: –
Landline phone: +31 (0)317 483287

About Aad:

Weed scientist at Wageningen University, Crop and Weed Ecology group. Specialisation: research on parasitic weeds (e.g. Striga, Rhamphicarpa).

The main objective of my work is to gain more insight into the dynamics of the parasite – host relationship. Infection of the parasite deregulates the functioning of the host, which results in a reduced growth of the plant and, as a consequence, directly interferes with the quality of the host plant as a host. This has implications for the further development of the parasite, both at the individual (growth of attached parasites) and the population level (increase in number of attachments). In turn, the development of the parasites influences the extent to which a host is affected.

In 2006 I obtained my PhD-degree in Agricultural Sciences at Wageningen University based on a study to explain the influence of time and severity of Striga infection on the sorghum – Striga association.

I am teaching in a number of courses, like Academic Consultancy Training, Cropping Systems and Knowledge of Crops, Ecology and in Research Methods in Crop Science.

I am also involved in the supervision of  MSc- and PhD-students of our group.

Major research areas/ expertise:

  • The influence of time and severity of parasitic weed infection on the crop (sorghum, rice) – parasite (Striga, Rhamphicarpa) association
  • Parasitic weeds: seed bank dynamics
  • The effects of plant nutrition on parasitic weed tolerance and resistance in crops

Nationality: Dutch

In the PARASITE project:

Role in the project: PhD-supervisor, postdoc co-supervisor
Subprojects: 1 – Biology and ecology, 2 – Management Strategies, 3 – Socio-economic impact, 4 – Crop protection systems


  • Jamil, M., Charnikhova, T., Houshyani, B., van Ast, A. and Bouwmeester, J. (2012). Strigolactones regulate tillering and Striga hermonthica infection in rice. Planta 235:473-484.
  • Tuinstra,  M.R, Soumana, Al Khatib, S., Issoufou Kapran, Toure, A., van Ast, A., Bastiaans, L., Ochanda, N., Salami, I., Kayenta, M. and Dembele, S. (2009).  Efficacy of Herbicide Seed Treatments for Controlling Striga Infestation of Sorghum. Crop Science 49: 923-929.
  • Rodenburg, J., Bastiaans, L. Schapendonk, A.H.C.M.,  van der Putten, P.E.L.,  van Ast, A. and Kropff, M.J. (2008) CO2-assimilation and chlorophyll fluorescence as indirect selection criteria for host tolerance against Striga. Euphytica 160:75-87.
  • Westerman, P.R., van Ast, A., Stomph, T.J. and van der Werf, W. (2007). Long-term management of the parasitic weed Striga hermonthica; Strategy evaluation with a population model. Crop Protection 26: 219-227.
  • Lendzemo, V.W., Kuyper, Th. W., Matusova, R., Bouwmeester, H.J. Narvaez, L. and van Ast, A. (2007). Colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi of sorghum leads to reduced germination and subsequent attachment and emergence of Striga hermonthica. Plant Signalling and Behaviour 2:1, 58-62.
  • van Ast, A. (2006). The influence of time and severity of Striga infection on the Sorghum bicolorStriga hermonthica association. PhD-thesis, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
  • van Ast, A. and Bastiaans, L. (2006). The role of infection time in the differential response of sorghum cultivars to Striga hermonthica infection. Weed Research 46: 264-274.
  • Lendzemo, V.W., van Ast, A. and Kuyper, Th.W. (2006). Can  arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi contribute to Striga management on cereals in Africa? Outlook on Agriculture 35 (4): 307-311.
  • Rodenburg, J., Bastiaans, L., Kropff, M.J. and van Ast, A. (2006). Effects of host plant genotype and seed bank density on Striga reproduction. Weed Research 46: 251-263.
  • van Ast, A., Bastiaans, L. and Katilé (2005). Cultural control measures to diminish sorghum yield loss and parasite success under Striga hermonthica infestation. Crop Protection 24: 1023-1034.
  • Lendzemo, V.W., Kuyper, Th. W., Kropff, M.J.  and van Ast, A. (2005). Field inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi reduces Striga hermonthica performance on cereal crops and has the potential to increase cereal production. Field Crops Research 91: 51-61
  • van Ast, A., Bastiaans, L. and Kropff, M.J. (2000). A comparative study on Striga hermonthica interaction with a sensitive and a tolerant sorghum cultivar. Weed Research 40: 479-493.
  • van Delft, G.J., Graves, J.D., Fitter, A.H.  and van Ast, A. (2000). Striga seed avoidance by deep planting and no-tillage in sorghum and maize. International Journal of Pest Management 46 (4): 251-256.

More information:

Link to personal website/ page: http://www.csa.wur.nl/UK/Staff/Dr+Ing.+Aad+van+Ast/