Parasitic plant, from inside out: Endophytic development in Lathrophytum peckoltii (Balanophoraceae) in host liana roots from tribe Paullineae (Sapindaceae)

Lauany C.O. Pellissari, Luiza Teixeira-Costa, Gregorio Ceccantini, Neusa Tamaio, Leandro J.T. Cardoso, João M.A. Braga, Claudia F. Barros

Onderzoeksoutput: Articlepeer review

3 Citaten (Scopus)


Background and Aims: Balanophoraceae is one of the most bizarre and biologically interesting plant clades. It groups species with peculiar features that offers an opportunity for investigating several aspects of parasite plant development and morphogenesis. We analysed the development and the mature vegetative body of Lathrophytum peckoltii Eichler, focusing on the formation of the host-parasite interface. Additionally, we analysed how this parasitic interaction causes modifications to the anatomy of Paullinia uloptera Radlk and Serjania clematidifolia Cambess host roots. Methods: Vegetative bodies of the parasite at different developmental stages were collected while infesting the roots of Sapindaceae vines. Non-parasitized host roots were also collected for comparison. Light, epifluorescence, confocal and scanning electron microscopy were used for the analysis. Key Results: The initial cells of the vegetative axis divide repeatedly, originating a parenchymatous matrix, which occupies the space from the cortex to the vascular cylinder of the host's root. In the peripheral layers of the matrix, located near the xylem of the host's roots, a few cells initiate the process of wall lignification, originating the parasitic bundle. The vascular cambium of the host's root changes the division plane and becomes composed of fusiform initials, forming the vascular bundle. The vegetative axis presents a dermal tissue similar to a phellem, a parenchymatous matrix and a vascular system with different origins. Conclusion: The parasite reproduces by endophytic development, in a manner similar to that observed for endoparasites. The strategy of late cell differentiation could aid the parasite in avoiding early detection and triggering of defence responses by the host. This development causes changes to the host root cambial activity, leading to the establishment of direct, vessel to vessel connection between host and parasite. We associate these changes with the cambium modularity and an influx of parasite-derived hormones into the host cambium.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)331-342
Aantal pagina's12
TijdschriftAnnals of Botany
Nummer van het tijdschrift3
StatusPublished - 16 feb 2022

Bibliografische nota

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:

Copyright 2022 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


Duik in de onderzoeksthema's van 'Parasitic plant, from inside out: Endophytic development in Lathrophytum peckoltii (Balanophoraceae) in host liana roots from tribe Paullineae (Sapindaceae)'. Samen vormen ze een unieke vingerafdruk.

Citeer dit