Mitigating the Mistletoe Menace: Biotechnological and Smart Management Approaches

Gaurav Mudgal, Jaspreet Kaur, Kartar Chand, Manisha Parashar, Sanjoy K. Dhar, Gajendra B. Singh, Mayank A. Gururani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Mistletoes have been considered a keystone resource for biodiversity, as well as a remarkable source of medicinal attributes that attract pharmacologists. Due to their hemiparasitic nature, mistletoes leach water and nutrients, including primary and secondary metabolites, through the vascular systems of their plant hosts, primarily trees. As a result of intense mistletoe infection, the hosts suffer various growth and physiological detriments, which often lead to tree mortality. Because of their easy dispersal and widespread tropism, mistletoes have become serious pests for commercial fruit and timber plantations. A variety of physical and chemical treatment methods, along with silvicultural practices, have shaped conventional mistletoe management. Others, however, have either failed to circumvent the growing range and tropism of these parasitic plants or present significant environmental and public health risks. A biocontrol approach that could sidestep these issues has never achieved full proof of concept in real-field applications. Our review discusses the downsides of conventional mistletoe control techniques and explores the possibilities of biotechnological approaches using biocontrol agents and transgenic technologies. It is possible that smart management options will pave the way for technologically advanced solutions to mitigate mistletoes that are yet to be exploited.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1645
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • biocontrol
  • drone
  • environment
  • frugivore
  • mistletoe
  • parasitic plant
  • remote sensing
  • resistance
  • seed dispersal
  • transcriptome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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