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Latest Ian Baldwin Stories

0ecefaf3e76edc6d0f694852cd1de31f1
2011-04-26 10:18:02

A plant's sugary offering betrays caterpillars to predatory ants Trichomes, hair-like projections on leaves, are part of a plant's defense against herbivores: they can be obstacles, traps, or reservoirs for toxic substances. The hairs of wild tobacco Nicotiana attenuata contain primarily acyl sugars, which are composed of the common sugar, sucrose, bound to branched chain aliphatic acids, compounds that give baby vomit its distinctive odor. Tiny, freshly hatched caterpillars consume these...

b61a1775add0aa40d62290aaa8f578811
2010-08-26 23:34:48

The dilemma for tobacco hornworm larvae: By feeding on tobacco leaves they unintentionally and rapidly transform plant substances into attractant signals that betray their location to their own natural enemies -- with lethal consequencesPlants have developed a sophisticated defense system. They can not only directly fend off herbivores by producing toxins, but also do so indirectly by emitting odorant molecules into the atmosphere that are perceived by predatory insects; these predators are...


Word of the Day
lunula
  • A small crescent-shaped structure or marking, especially the white area at the base of a fingernail that resembles a half-moon.
This word is a diminutive of the Latin 'luna,' moon.
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