Biotech Updates

Scientists to Use Gene Sequencing to Combat Witchweed, Other Parasitic Plants

August 7, 2013

An international research team is attempting to save billions of dollars in crop losses around the world by combatting witchweed and other parasitic plants through the use of gene sequencing and transfer. The said research is part of the Parasitic Plant Genome Project, funded by the National Science Foundation.

Scientists are identifying the genome-wide changes that have evolved among this group of wild plants which may have led to the development of their parasitic ability. John Yodder, professor from the University of California Davis and one of the researchers of the study added that they will identify critical parasite genes and pathways to use this information to develop parasite-resistant crops.

See UC Davis' news release at