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Historical Aspects of Sunflower Researches in the Republic of Moldova

Duca, Maria
Helia 2014 v.38 no.62 pp. 79-92
Helianthus annuus, Orobanche, breeding, cultivation area, disease resistance, economic impact, genetic resistance, host-parasite relationships, hybrids, monitoring, parasites, seeds, sunflower oil, Moldova
The first document that attests the cultivation of sunflower on the territory of the Republic of Moldova dates back to 1845. The first evidence of oil production from sunflower seeds has been identified in 1867. Since then, the area cultivated with sunflower has expanded exponentially. Sunflower has now become the third most produced crop, after corn and wheat. In the Republic of Moldova, sunflower research activities have been focused on genetics, breeding and improvement of crop cultivation technologies, with a special emphasis on resistance to disease and pests including broomrape, which can considerably diminish crop productivity. Significant efforts have been invested to identify solutions for fighting parasites, such as the investigation of morpho-physiological, biochemical and genetic aspects of the host–parasite interaction; the development of chemical and agro-technical methods to fight parasites; the evaluation of genetic resistance in artificial and natural conditions; the development of hybrids resistant to a number of Orobanche varieties; and the monitoring of broomrape impact on the production indices. The current paper examines the scientific information available, providing a comprehensive view on the management, breeding, resistance and economic impact of sunflower broomrape in the Republic of Moldova. The review aims to provide a perspective for future research strategies to further develop our understanding of the parasite–host interaction.