A team of scientists from the University of Bern (Switzerland) and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology and their partners have characterized multiple functions of benzoxazinoids in wheat: The toxic form of the substances makes the plant directly resistant to lepidopteran larvae, whereas a less toxic form regulates indirect defense mechanisms against aphids. Scientists have identified the “switch” between these different functions as a methyltransferase enzyme, which is activated by caterpillar feeding. This switch enables wheat plants to adapt their defense response to different herbivores. A comparison with maize shows that a methyltransferase also regulates defense processes in maize against different pest insects. However, the two enzymes in wheat and maize have evolved independently from each other.
Complete Article From the publisher.When people think of coral reefs, they typically picture warm, clear waters with brightly colored corals and fishes. But other corals live in deep, dark, cold waters, often far from shore […]
Complete Article From the publisher.Frogs that raise their young in tiny pools of water that collect on plant leaves must make a delicate trade-off between the risk of drying out and the risk of being […]
Complete Article From the publisher.High levels of pollution found in many of the world’s major cities are having negative effects on plants and insects, according to new research from the University of Sheffield.