Portland State University. Department of Biology
Date of Publication
Master of Science (M.S.) in Biology
Phoradendron californicum, Prosopis juliflora
1 online resource (14,  leaves, mounted ill., map. 28 cm.)
The mistletoe Phoradendron californicum is a common parasite on the mesquite plant Prosopis juliflora. Seeds of the parasite are deposited upon the host plant by birds and perhaps other agents. Normally seedlings of the parasite become established when the elongating radicle of the embryo comes into contact with a host branch and forms a holdfast. From the underside of the holdfast the primary haustorium enters the host tissue and establishes the parasitic union. Later the aerial portion of the parasite develops. Some seeds of P. californicum follow a different sequence; they stimulate the host to produce gum in the tissue beneath the seed by apparent dissolution of cells. The exuded gum elevates the developing seed from the host branch preventing establishment of the host-parasite union. The possible significance of this apparent defense mechanism is discussed.
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Null, Richard L., "Observations on the establishment of seedlings of Phoradendron californicum on Prosopis juliflora" (1971). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 1434.