Broomrapes (Orobanche spp.) are chlorophyll-lacking root parasites of many dicotyledonous species that cause severe damage to vegetables and field crops worldwide. Egyptian broomrape is common throughout Israel, where it parasitizes a wide range of crops. The main damage caused by this parasite is to processing tomatoes. The objectives of this study were to determine (1) the relationship between the parasitism process on tomato roots and Egyptian broomrape seed depth, and (2) the effect of herbicide application on Egyptian broomrape control at depths of 0 to 30 cm. The study was conducted in controlled conditions in 25-L pots containing soil that was artificially infested with Egyptian broomrape seeds. Seeds (1-cm layer) were infested at soil surface and at depths of 6, 12, 18, 24, and 30 cm. Sulfosulfuron was applied PRE to Egyptian broomrape shoots, 14 and 42 d after tomato planting. Egyptian broomrape emergence was highly correlated to the depth of the seed infestation: the deeper the seeds were buried, the more pronounced the delay in Egyptian broomrape emergence. A four-parameter sigmoid equation was found that describes the relationship between Egyptian broomrape parasitism and seed depth. No Egyptian broomrape shoots were observed aboveground when sulfosulfuron was applied on tomato foliage. However, live and dead attachments were observed at different levels in all seed-depth treatments. No significant difference in the efficacies of sulfosulfuron at rates of 37.5 and 75 ai ha−1 was observed at depths of 6, 12, and 18 cm. The best control was obtained at a depth of 6 cm at both sulfosulfuron rates. At depths of 24 and 30 cm, no broomrape control was achieved at 37.5 ai g ha−1 sulfosulfuron, and only low control efficacy was obtained at 75 ai g ha−1.
Nomenclature: Sulfosulfuron Egyptian broomrape, Orobanche aegyptiaca Pers. ORAAE tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.