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Plants Use Pungent-Smelling Chemicals to Protect Their Next-Generation From Predators

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Image credit: Pixabay Plants serve themselves as food to various herbivores, insects and larvae. Earlier, they didn’t have a way to defend themselves. However, after millions of years of evolution, they have in-built a defensive system to ensure their survival for the next generation. A recent study by the University of Copenhagen, Denmark , proposed that plants use substances that taste similar to wasabi and mustard sauce that stimulate a burning sensation in their predators' mouths, thereby preventing themselves from getting eaten up. Instead of serving plants as food, these pungent-smelling chemicals repel insects and herbivores to defend them. Glucosinolates are naturally occurring substances in plants that play an important role in their defensive mechanisms. When herbivores start eating plant leaves, the plant tissues are crushed, and an enzyme is released called Myrosinase. This enzyme gets mixed with glucosinolates to produce toxic metabolites that inhibit most insects to

Fungal Diseases Threatened Banana Monocultures. Now They Are a Risk to Wild Bananas Too.

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Image credit: Pixabay Fusarium is a species of fungus that affects the cultivation of a variety of crops. It is a plant pathogen that causes several diseases such as Fusarium wilt in bananas and solanaceous crops, head blight, crown rot and scab on cereals, etc.   Fusarium oxysporum , a Fusarium fungus species affects the cultivation of solanaceous crops such as potatoes, tomatoes, chillies, etc. Due to this, thousands of solanaceous cultivators had to face agricultural losses leading to low income and subsistence. Fusarium oxysporum or Foc is a soil-borne fungus that affects the tissues of plants. It enters the plant's vascular tissues through roots and deteriorates them. Vascular tissues help to transport minerals and nutrients within a plant. Any infection in these tissues can lead to plant death. Moreover, tackling this fungus is difficult as its spores remain in the soil even when infected plants and tissues are removed. As far as commercial trade is concerned, the banana ex

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