Showing posts with the label insects

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

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

New Study Shows Aphid ‘Honeydew’ Promotes Bacteria That Can Kill Them

Photo credit: Horror by Numbers/ Unsplash   According to a new study by researchers at Cornell University, New York, honeydew- a sugary sticky liquid secreted by aphids can promote the growth of the bacteria that is highly infectious to the pests. During the study, researchers used  Pseudomonas syringae, a type of bacteria that resides on leaves . Pseudomonas syringae is a rod-shaped bacteria that infect a wide range of plant species. It also affects certain infection carriers like Aphids that transfer the infection while feeding on the sap, damaging crops of billions of dollars around the world. The research shows how certain strains or genetic types of Pseudomonas syringae are infectious to aphids and might also be used to control pests. The research paper, “ Context-Dependent Benefits of Aphids for Bacteria in the Phyllosphere ,” published in the journal ‘The American Naturalist,’ assessed the virulence (micro-organisms ability to damage the host) of different strains (genetic ty

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