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Latest Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology Stories

Jumping bristletail Lepismachilis y-signata
2014-03-30 03:00:54

Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology Odorant receptors of recent insects evolved long after insects migrated from water to land. An insect’s sense of smell is vital to its survival. Only if it can trace even tiny amounts of odor molecules is it is able to find food sources, communicate with conspecifics, or avoid enemies. According to scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, many proteins involved in the highly sensitive odor perception of insects emerged...

Flowering Plants Need Sugar Transporter SWEET9 For Nectar Production
2014-03-17 10:58:21

Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology Evolution is based on diversity, and sexual reproduction is key to creating a diverse population that secures competitiveness in nature. Plants as largely immobile organisms had to solve a problem: they needed to find ways to spread their genetic material beyond individual flowers. To make sure that flying pollinators such as insects, birds and bats come to the flowers to pick up pollen, plants evolved special organs, the nectaries, to attract and...

Acacia Plants Protected Against Pathogens By Ants
2014-01-16 10:19:05

Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology Researchers discover an additional level of this insect-plant symbiosis The biological term “symbiosis” refers to what economists and politicians usually call a win-win situation: a relationship between two partners which is beneficial to both. The mutualistic association between acacia plants and the ants that live on them is an excellent example: The plants provide food and accommodation in the form of food bodies and nectar as well as...

Intracellular ABC Transporters Allow Leaf Beetle Larvae To Accumulate Defensive Substances When Feeding
2013-12-09 11:58:38

Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology Similar membrane proteins play a crucial role in the transport of toxic substances out of the cell Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, have discovered the decisive biological stimulator for the accumulation of defensive substances in leaf beetle larvae used by the insects to fend off predators: ABC transport proteins, which are found in large quantities in glandular cells of the larvae. The poplar leaf...

Olfactory Signals Help Female Moths Choose Best Egg-laying Sites
2013-06-03 11:00:17

Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology Small changes in the composition of green leaf volatiles induced by herbivory guide ovipositing female moths to unattacked plants Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Jena, Germany, discovered that the ability of Manduca sexta moths to recognize changes in the profile of volatile compounds released by plants being attacked by Manduca caterpillars allows them to lay their eggs on plants that are less likely to be attacked...

2013-03-18 15:54:40

Insect odorant receptors regulate their own sensitivity. Highly developed antennae containing different types of olfactory receptors allow insects to use minute amounts of odors for orientation towards resources like food, oviposition sites or mates. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, have now used mutant flies and for the first time provided experimental proof that the extremely sensitive olfactory system of fruit flies – they are able to...

2012-12-19 15:29:16

After metamorphosis European forest cockchafers benefit from the same bacterial symbionts housed during their larval stage. Apart from the common European cockchafer (Melolontha melolontha), the European forest cockchafer (Melolontha hippocastani) is the most common species of the Melolontha genus. These insects can damage huge areas of broadleaf trees and conifers in woodlands and on heaths. Cockchafers house microbes in their guts that help them to digest their woody food, such as...

Ferns Herbivore Defense
2012-11-21 13:00:05

Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology Unlike flowering plants, bracken ferns do not release any odor signals to attract the enemies of their attackers for their own benefit. They dominated the earth for 200 million years and numerous different species can still be found all over the world: mosses, horsetails and ferns. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, have now found out that bracken ferns (Pteridium aquilinum) do not release any...

Biological Pest Control Using Predators Of Insect Eggs And Larvae Increases Plant Fitness
2012-10-16 15:15:40

To solve the acute, global problem of securing food resources for a continuously growing population, we must work constantly to increase the sustainability and effectiveness of modern agricultural techniques. These efforts depend on new insights from plant ecology, particularly from work on native plants that grow in the primordial agricultural niche. Based on field studies on wild tobacco plants in the Great Basin Desert, Utah, USA, researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Chemical...

2012-06-06 21:42:30

The discovery of the first enzyme in the pathway sheds new light on the evolution of alkaloid formation Humans encounter alkaloids every day Alkaloids constitute a very large group of natural nitrogen-containing compounds with diverse effects on the human organism. A large variety of plant-produced alkaloids have strong pharmacological effects, and are used as toxins, stimulants, pharmaceuticals or recreational drugs, including caffeine, nicotine, morphine, quinine, strychnine, atropine...


Word of the Day
bellycheer
  • Good cheer; viands.
  • To revel; to feast.
The word 'bellycheer' may come from 'belle cheer', "good cheer".
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