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Pest uses plant hairs for protection
Date:2/6/2013

emicals are effective in deterring the feeding of most general insect herbivores. A well-studied practice by some specialist insects is their predilection to consume these plant poisons, sequester those poisons into parts of their body, then exploit the poisons for their own protection.

"Here we find another example of how an herbivore insect can be confronted with a plant's behavior that helps reduce the likelihood of being eaten, then take advantage of that behavior by using it for the same purpose," said Marler. This particular plant-pest-predator relationship has drawn the attention of biologists in the Western Pacific Tropical Research Center at the University of Guam because this pest is threatening cycad populations in other countries. Lessons learned on Guam may benefit cycad conservationists in those other countries. Marler's research appears in the November issue of the journal Plant Signaling and Behavior.


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Contact: Olympia Terral
olympia.uog@gmail.com
University of Guam
Source:Eurekalert  

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