Navigation Links
Cycad plant depends on insect for multiple services
Date:6/9/2010

When a plant endemic to several islands in the Western Pacific Ocean taps the services of a helpful insect, a double-dose of benefits comes its way. The plant is a member of a unique group of plants known as cycads, which produce their seeds in cones rather than within fruits. The insect is a tiny moth currently known to exist only on the islands of Guam and Rota. The insect's primary role is to ensure seed production occurs by pollinating the plants. "But what we have learned is the behavior of the moth also triggers the plants into increased frequency of reproduction," said UOG Professor Thomas Marler.

The research conducted in the Western Pacific Tropical Research Center at the University of Guam breaks new ground because the findings reverse how biologists have viewed one component of the plant-insect partnership, and the results appear in the May issue of the American Journal of Botany. "When each organism in a relationship obtains benefits from the other member of the relationship, the partnership is called a mutualism," said Marler. In mutualisms where an insect provides the service of transporting pollen from plant to plant to facilitate seed production, the plant gives back something that benefits the insect.

With many cycad species, the plant offers their male cones as an insect nursery where eggs are laid and larvae eat the cone tissue. "This service has been portrayed for many cycad species as something the plant sacrifices in order to receive the pollination services from the insect," said Marler. The Guam-based research followed many years of plant behavior to show that when the insects were allowed to use the male cones as nursery facilities, those particular plants produced new cones more quickly in the subsequent months or years. So what was once believed to be a sacrifice by the plant to ensure receipt of a separate benefit from the insect turns out to be a second direct benefit received from the insect.

This particular mutualism has drawn the attention of administrators and researchers at the Research Center because this is the first documented moth or butterfly pollinator for any of the roughly 300 described cycad species. Moreover, the ongoing cycad research is in a race with time as two alien insect pests have recently invaded Guam and Rota and have placed the endemic cycad species are under acute threat. "So these findings that alter how scientists view mutualisms are timely as we try to learn as much as we can from this species before the population declines even more," said Lee Yudin, Dean of UOG's College of Natural and Applied Sciences.


'/>"/>

Contact: Cathleen Moore-Linn
cmoore@uguam.uog.edu
University of Guam
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. High construction cost for cycads
2. T-STAR grant funds genetic studies on shrimp and papaya and endangered cycad rescue
3. Plant disease -- more than a crop killer
4. Coral transplantation the simple and cheap solution to reef restoration
5. Cell Transplantation reports consistent and successful islet isolations offer diabetes hope
6. Plants spice up their sex life with defensins
7. Rare carnivorous plant on top 10 list of newly discovered species
8. Grinding mouth, wrinkle eye: Penn graduate student describes new species of plant-eating dinosaur
9. Discovery: Yeast make plant hormone that speeds infection
10. Technique yields potential biological substitute for dental implants
11. Emergence of fungal plant diseases linked to ecological speciation
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Cycad plant depends on insect for multiple services
(Date:3/28/2017)... , March 28, 2017 The ... Hardware (Camera, Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, ... Region - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, ... 2016 and is projected to reach USD 75.64 Billion ... and 2022. The base year considered for the study ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... 24, 2017 The Controller General of Immigration from ... Abdulla Algeen have received the prestigious international IAIR Award for the ... Continue Reading ... ... Controller Abdulla Algeen (small picture on the right) have received the IAIR ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless Sensing Market by Technology (Touch-based ... to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to be worth USD ... 2022. Continue Reading ... ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... and LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. , Oct. ... Cancer Research, London (ICR) and University ... SKY92, SkylineDx,s prognostic tool to risk-stratify patients with multiple myeloma ... MUK nine . The University of Leeds ... partly funded by Myeloma UK, and ICR will perform the ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 2017 , ... San Diego-based team building and cooking events company, Lajollacooks4u, has ... The bold new look is part of a transformation to increase awareness, appeal to ... period. , It will also expand its service offering from its signature gourmet cooking ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... 10, 2017 International research firm Parks Associates announced ... at the TMA 2017 Annual Meeting , October 11 in ... residential home security market and how smart safety and security products impact ... Parks Associates: Smart Home ... "The residential security market has ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... DIEGO , Oct. 9, 2017  BioTech ... biological mechanism by which its ProCell stem cell ... critical limb ischemia.  The Company, demonstrated that treatment ... amount of limbs saved as compared to standard ... the molecule HGF resulted in reduction of therapeutic ...
Breaking Biology Technology: