Preeti Kumari, S. K. Tiwari* and A. K. Choudhary
*BRSM College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, IGAU, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India
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The Cuscuta reflexa is a leaf less parasitic angiosperm belonging to the family Convolvulaceae and it is directly attaches to the host plants through the haustoria. During this investigation we find that the plant is a hemiand holoparasite, living on wood yielding, fruit yield in great medicinally important plants species. In present study, systematic survey and identification of the different host plants was undertaken. Surveys were conducted to find out the host plants of Cuscuta reflexa from different localities of Betla National Park areas of Jharkhand, India. In a survey 33 species, representing 30 genera belong to 23 families were recognized as host plants for it. Host plants were also examined for anatomical and biochemical studies. Haustorium penetration in host stem and size of the haustorium was found specific to the host. Each transverse section of host stem showed haustorium reached up to the secondary xylem. Poly-phenol oxidase activity and protein content were also studied in healthy and infected stem of Ziziphus mauritiana, Cajanus cajan and Ficus glomerata by Cuscuta reflexa. It was interesting to note that the protein content is markedly stimulated in all infected host plants. The maximum stimulation was recorded in Ziziphus mauritiana while minimum in Artocarpus integrifolia. The impact of Cuscuta reflexa on host growth, allometry and reproduction was also studied and found that it was major factor, 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 behaviour & diversity of these is often closely linked to the presence and abundance of parasitic plants.