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Showing posts with the label Lepidoptera

Maize attacks herbivore, who's next?

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Maize plants can do much more than showing off their varied colours. When attacked, (Photo credit: Wikipedia) If you were under the belief that plants are motionless beings, incapable of defending themselves, then its high time you start believing otherwise. On more than one occasion, have scientists found that plants are very much capable of protecting themselves and guaranteeing their survival when attacked.
The heading is not just an attempt to grab your attention, but a simple fact. A maize plant is actually capable of launching an 'in-direct' attack on a lepidopteran herbivore by releasing certain volatile compounds in the air that attract the lepidopteran's natural enemies.
Maize plants are usually attacked by larvae of lepidopteran insects such as moths and butterflies. The plant, too, has a patience threshold and allows the larvae to feed for a while. When the plant's foliage is excessively attacked, the plant increases expression of the tps10 gene that leads t…