Navigation Links
Milkweed's evolutionary approach to caterpillars: Counter appetite with fast repair
Date:7/22/2008

The adage that your enemies know your weaknesses best is especially true in the case of plants and predators that have co-evolved: As the predators evolve new strategies for attack, plants counter with their own unique defenses.

Milkweed is the latest example of this response, according to Cornell research suggesting that plant may be shifting away from elaborate defenses against specialized caterpillars toward a more energy-efficient approach. Genetic analysis reveals an evolutionary trend for milkweed plants away from resisting predators to putting more effort into repairing themselves faster than caterpillars -- particularly the monarch butterfly caterpillar -- can eat them.

"An important question with co-evolution is where does it end?" said Anurag Agrawal, Cornell associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and lead author of a paper in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "One answer is when it becomes too costly. Some plants seem to have shifted away from resisting herbivory [plant eating] and have taken that same energy and used it to repair themselves."

The paper is important because it sheds light on key theories of co-evolution, claiming that pressure by foraging insects makes plants diversify as they evolve new defensive strategies and that such diversification follows trends in one direction or another, said Agrawal.

Milkweed species have evolved elaborate resistance strategies to fight off caterpillars that eat their leaves. These include hairs on their leaves, heart poisons called cardenolides in their tissues and milky-white toxic latex that pours from the plants' tubes. A caterpillar's bite into a milkweed leaf leads to a flood of latex that is "like getting a gallon of sticky paint thrown into your face," said Agrawal.

Some caterpillars, in turn, have adapted by shaving the leaf, cutting a leaf's veins in a circle and then eating in the middl
'/>"/>

Contact: Blaine Friedlander
bpf2@cornell.edu
607-254-8093
Cornell University Communications
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Revolutionary chefs? Not likely, shows physics research
2. Crossed (evolutionary) signals?
3. Mechanism and function of humor identified by new evolutionary theory
4. Revolutionary CO2 maps zoom in on greenhouse gas sources
5. M2SYS Introduces Revolutionary Biometric Artificial Intelligence Technology to Significantly Reduce Fingerprint Software False Reject Rates
6. Lemurs evolutionary history may shed light on our own
7. Dartmouth researchers find the root of the evolutionary emergence of vertebrates
8. Oldest Australian crayfish fossils provide missing evolutionary link
9. New book reveals an evolutionary journey of the human body
10. Scientists find missing evolutionary link using tiny fungus crystal
11. Primitive early relative of armadillos helps rewrite evolutionary family tree
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/17/2014)... whereby the genetic information of DNA is used ... have numerous different functions in living organisms. Messenger ... gene expression, by relating the genetic information of ... proteins. , By examining the different types ... organism at a given time, researchers can determine ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... have uncovered a new way the immune system may ... efforts to use immune cells to treat illness. , ... the immunological equivalent of "neighborhood police" specialized squads ... organ, instead of an entire city, the body. , ... Louis have shown that the liver, skin and uterus ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... domestication derive from Charles Darwin, whose ideas in ... during the 19th century, a period when landowners ... is from Darwin that we inherit the ideas ... wild species and total human control over breeding ... this industrial setting has been applied too broadly ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Rapid and accurate mRNA detection in plant tissues 2Some immune cells defend only 1 organ 2The story of animal domestication retold 2The story of animal domestication retold 3The story of animal domestication retold 4
... more attractive to women seeking short-term relationships, scientists at ... previously assumed that in Western cultures scarring was an ... perceived as a sign of maturity and strength. ... that Western women find scarring on men attractive and ...
... the presidential campaign, Barack Obama proposed an economic plan ... These so-called "green collar" jobs do, in fact, present ... report from Duke University. , Highlighting the direct ... say U.S. manufacturing is poised to grow in a ...
... A new study confirms that exercise can reverse the ... in the hippocampus of the mouse brain, and suggests ... which promotes the production and maturation of new stem ... into a variety of mature nerve cells which have ...
Cached Biology News:Scientists find facial scars increase attractiveness 2Duke study pinpoints potential 'green collar' job growth in US 2Exercise increases brain growth factor and receptors, prevents stem cell drop in middle age 2Exercise increases brain growth factor and receptors, prevents stem cell drop in middle age 3
(Date:1/15/2014)... is the device," Nobel laureate Herbert Kroemer famously ... found at the junctures where layers of different ... the interfaces between layers of metal oxides are ... favorites as spintronics, high-temperature superconductors, ferroelectrics and multiferroics. ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... 2014 The Pittcon Organizing Committee is pleased ... Safety Tech , an e-Journal and producer of ... the second year for the co-location of Food Labs Conference ... provides that the registration fee to attend the two-day Food ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... IL (PRWEB) January 15, 2014 Look ... find hard-working items for the lab, from fluid handling ... Guaranteed-in-Stock (GIS)—ready to ship when you order. , ... Peristaltic Pumps , from the L/S® model for precise ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... JOSE, California , January 15, 2014 ... cancer, today announced the appointment of Thomas C Reynolds MD, ... 20 years, development experience gained in the biotechnology industry, most ... "I am delighted to welcome Tom at this transformative time ...
Breaking Biology Technology:A deeper look at interfaces 2Pittcon Announces Second Year Partnership With Food Safety Tech 2Pittcon Announces Second Year Partnership With Food Safety Tech 3Cole-Parmer Begins 2014 with the Release of Preferred Solutions 2Oxford BioTherapeutics Appoints Thomas C Reynolds MD, PhD to its Board of Directors 2Oxford BioTherapeutics Appoints Thomas C Reynolds MD, PhD to its Board of Directors 3
... online library of cellular images freely available to biomedical ... anniversary on August 9, 2011 by winning The ... The Scientist announced the readers, choice multimedia winners ... The Cell has more than 3,000 searchable images posted. ...
... DUNDEE, Scotland, Sept. 1, 2011 Aridhia Informatics ... partnership to create innovative products to aid the ... outcomes. Anticipating an increased focus on ... will work together to create products for the ...
... The medical imaging company SyntheticMR AB, a subsidiary ... their magnetic resonance imaging software from Umeå University Hospital ... in clinical practice to monitor the treatment efficacy of ... includes tools to automatically estimate a measure for brain ...
Cached Biology Technology:Free Online Library of Cell Images Wins 'The Labby' 2Pioneering US/Scottish Alliance for Life Science and Clinical Informatics 2Pioneering US/Scottish Alliance for Life Science and Clinical Informatics 3Pioneering US/Scottish Alliance for Life Science and Clinical Informatics 4Swedish University Hospital Improves Monitoring of Treatment Efficacy in Multiple Sclerosis With Synthetic MRI Innovation 2Swedish University Hospital Improves Monitoring of Treatment Efficacy in Multiple Sclerosis With Synthetic MRI Innovation 3
... The S.c. EasyComp Transformation Kit ... transformation-competent Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells. Advantages over ... spheroplast formation or LiCl methods include:- Cells ... than 30 minutes - Competent cell preparation ...
...
... System is used in conjunction ... PCR of problematic and/or GC-rich ... Solution with 10X PCRX Amplification ... broader magnesium concentration broader annealing ...
Mouse Exodus 2 - 12kDa...
Biology Products: