Navigation Links
Using different scents to attract or repel insects
Date:3/31/2014

Flowering plants attract pollinating insects with scent from their flowers and bright colours. If they have become infested with herbivores like caterpillars, they attract beneficial insects like parasitic wasps with the help of scent signals from their leaves. The wasps then lay their eggs in the caterpillars and kill the parasites. Floral and foliar scents can, however, mutually reduce their attractiveness. That's why flowering plants face a dilemma: should they use their resources to attract pollinating insects and, by extension, for reproduction or should they invest in defence against herbivores? A Swiss-Italian research team headed by Florian Schiestl from the University of Zurich has now demonstrated that plants are able to adjust their scent bouquet to their needs at any given time and, in this way, to attract partner or useful insects in a more targeted manner.

The scientists examined the reactions of turnip rape an edible flowering plant closely related to rape after its infestation with herbivores. The researchers demonstrate that the infested plants markedly reduce their floral scent so as to attract parasitic wasps with scent signals from their leaves. "Decreasing the floral scent makes the plant less attractive to the insects which pollinate it. At the same time, it is then more attractive for the parasitic wasps", is how Florian Schiestl explains this mechanism. After infestation with herbivores and attracting wasps, the plants produce more flowers to compensate for their reduced attractiveness and to attract pollinating insects. "Floral scents are thus part of a complex trade-off with other scents that likewise attract beneficial insects", says Schiestl.

The results illustrate important ecological interactions when a plant attracts partner insects. Schiestl is of the opinion that the new findings may be relevant for the organic cultivation of useful plants. "One could try to optimise the attraction of parasitic wasps with less fragrant varieties and the attraction of pollinators with more fragrant ones."


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Florian Schiestl
florian.schiestl@systbot.uzh.ch
41-446-348-409
University of Zurich
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Studies reveal structure of EV71, a virus causing childhood illnesses
2. BYU study: Using a gun in bear encounters doesnt make you safer
3. The shape of things to come: NIST probes the promise of nanomanufacturing using DNA origami
4. Beyond the microscope: Identifying specific cancers using molecular analysis
5. Cell therapy using patients own bone marrow may present option for heart disease
6. Using cell phones to detect harmful airborne substances
7. Disarming disease-causing bacteria
8. Notre Dame researchers using novel method to combat malaria drug resistance
9. High-resolution atomic imaging of specimens in liquid by TEM using graphene liquid cell
10. What is really causing the child obesity epidemic?
11. Better housing conditions for zebrafish could improve research results
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Using different scents to attract or repel insects
(Date:4/24/2017)... Janice Kephart , former 9/11 ... Partners, LLP (IdSP) , today issues the following ... March 6, 2017 Executive Order: Protecting the ... be instilled with greater confidence, enabling the reactivation ... applications are suspended by until at least July ...
(Date:4/17/2017)... April 17, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... the filing of its 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K on ... ... is available in the Investor Relations section of the Company,s website ... SEC,s website at http://www.sec.gov . 2016 Year Highlights: ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 Crossmatch®, ... secure authentication solutions, today announced that it has ... Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to develop next-generation ... program. "Innovation has been a driving ... Thor program will allow us to innovate and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... The Blavatnik ... Winners and six Finalists of the 2017 Blavatnik Regional Awards for Young Scientists. ... Foundation and administered by the New York Academy of Sciences to honor the ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... launched Rosalind™, the first-ever genomics analysis platform specifically designed for life science ... in honor of pioneering researcher Rosalind Franklin, who made a major contribution ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... Md. (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... digital pathology, announced today it will be hosting a Webinar titled, “Pathology is ... Advanced Pathology Associates , on digital pathology adoption best practices and how Proscia ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Singh ... orphan drug designation to SBT-100, its novel anti-STAT3 (Signal Transducer and Activator of ... SBT-100 is able to cross the cell membrane and bind intracellular STAT3 and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: