Broomrape 

Causal Agent:
Orobanche species.

Distribution:
Asia, Central America, Europe, India, Mediterranean region, Middle East, Pakistan, USA

Symptoms:
The first noticeable sign of broomrape is the appearance of whitish-yellow shoots at the base of the infected plant. When the soil is removed the broomrape roots are found attached to the roots of the tomato plant. Later these yellow snapdragon-like parasitic plants will produce flowers, and as the plant matures it turns brown and the seed capsules release tiny, black seeds.


Conditions for Disease Development:
Broomrape seeds may lie dormant in the soil for more than 20 years. The root exudates from host plants stimulate germination and the young seedling attaches its roots to the roots of its host from which it extracts nutrients to grow and reproduce. After flowering, very small seeds are produced that can be distributed on cultivation equipment and in irrigation water, both between and within fields. Conditions favorable for tomato plant growth also favor broomrape growth and parasitism.

Control:
Fumigation and crop rotation, in conjunction with good sanitation practices which include removing and destroying any affected plants along with the broomrape, can reduce losses from this parasite.

Broomrape growing on tomato roots.

Broomrape flowering.