A new study has found that when certain plants are damaged, they can emit a chemical to ward off insects. They can even team up with other plants to keep pests away!
Plants’ chemical messages keep pests moving
“When leaf beetle larvae eat goldenrod, the damaged plant emits a chemical message, which informs the insect that the plant is damaged and is a poor source of food. The airborne chemicals are also noticed by undamaged neighboring plants, warning them to produce their own chemical defenses so they are ready for approaching enemies.”
Why do flowers have scents?
“Flowers of many plant species produce a scent. This scent is typically a complex mixture of low molecular weight compounds emitted by flowers into the atmosphere and its structure, color and odor are critical factors in attracting pollinators.”
Two Volatile Organic Compounds Trigger Plant Self-Defense against a Bacterial Pathogen and a Sucking Insect in Cucumber under Open Field Conditions
“Systemic acquired resistance (SAR) is a plant self-defense mechanism against a broad-range of pathogens and insect pests. Among chemical SAR triggers, plant and bacterial volatiles are promising candidates for use in pest management, as these volatiles are highly effective, inexpensive, and can be employed at relatively low concentrations compared with agrochemicals.”
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Special thanks to Jules Suzdaltsev for hosting and writing this episode of DNews!
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