The biology and haustorial anatomy of semi-parasitic Monochasma savatieri Franch. ex Maxim
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Monochasma savatieri Franch. ex Maxim is a perennial herb used in traditional Chinese medicine. In this study, we report on the semi-parasitism of M. savatieri for the first time and identify mosses (Hypnum plumaeforme and Funaria bygrometrica) as the primary host as well as 25 secondary host species. This species is well-suited to a subtropical hill and mountainous moist monsoon climate and grows well in hilly and sunny terrains. The anatomy of its semi-parasitic haustoria was also studied. A single strand of straight vessels branches out, and curved vessels are connected to the stele of the parent plant root rather than to the parent root directly. This might assist with the absorption of nutrients and can prevent backflow of nutrients. M. savatieri is becoming rare or even extinct in many areas. An understanding of the basic biology of this species, in particular the functioning of its haustoria, would enable further studies on its conventional as well as in vitro propagation.
KeywordsMonochasma savatieri Biology Haustorial anatomy Semiparasitism
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant nos. 31100498, 31270720 and 30972295).
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