Questions & Answers

Cuscuta is an example of-
a. Brood parasitism
b. Predation
c. Endoparasitism
d. Ectoparasitism

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Hint:
This parasitic plant develops haustoria, which is introduced into the host's vascular system from which they derive their sustenance.

Complete answer:

Option A is incorrect. Brood parasitism occurs when one bird lays its eggs in another bird's nest. The host bird (as the nest owner is called) is then responsible for raising the parasite bird chick and feeding him. The cuckoo is a well-known example of brood parasitism in birds. Cuckoo bees which lay their eggs inside other solitary bee’s brood chambers.

Option B is incorrect. Predation is a process in which members of one (predator) species eat members of another (prey) species. Predator-prey partnerships like those account for most movements of energy in food chains and food webs. The lion and zebra, cat and mouse, and fox and rabbit are some examples of predator and prey.

Option C is incorrect. Endoparasites, metabolically dependent on another organism, live within an organism. They are transmitted via the oral-fecal route, usually via infected food or water. Toxoplasma gondii infection is triggered by the ingestion of sporulated oocysts in cat feces or raw meat contaminated with the cyst.

Option D is correct. Cuscuta is a complete shoot parasite of several plants living on a plant's body, a parasite residing on a host organism's surface. It does not have chlorophyll and cannot produce photosynthesis for its food. Rather, it grows on other plants, using their nutrients to expand and weakening the host plant.

So, the correct answer is Option D.

Note: Certain parasite plants have modified roots, called haustoria, that penetrate the host plant, connecting them to the conductive system-either the xylem, the phloem, or both. Alternatively, plants such as Cuscuta and Orobanche contribute only to the host's phloem (phloem-feeding).