Plants Know What’s Eating Them And Respond Differently

“Scientists and gardeners alike study and examine plants for outward signs of damage caused by disease and insects. Often, this damage takes the shape of areas chewed by insects that are easily observed. However, much of the important responses plants make to insect bites takes place out of sight.

In one of the broadest studies of its kind, scientists at the University of Missouri recently studied how plant genes responded to insects that harm them.

They found that plants can recognize attacks from diverse kinds of insects, such as caterpillars and aphids, and that plants respond differently to each attack. Identifying these defense genes could allow plant breeders to target specific insect species when developing pest-resistant crops.”

Doug says – this has no practical implication at this time but it’s one of those interesting coffee break conversation starters I thought you’d find interesting.

Original news release

2 thoughts on “Plants Know What’s Eating Them And Respond Differently”

  1. I’m just wondering if pest resistant crops have been made that way through genetic engineering.

  2. Interesting question. The genetics of plants are fairly complex and beyond my ability to really respond. I’d guess however is that we have to differentiate between Genetic Modification and the newer Genetic Engineering. (the simple version is that GMO insert genes – GE alters existing genes) If the genetic code of the plant that controls the response has been modified or the hormonal balance has changed in some way, then “maybe”. But that’s a lot if “ifs and buts” and “maybes” that I surely don’t know about.

Leave a Reply

error: Content is protected !!