Do plants pay a price for evolving with complex defense mechanisms?January 29th, 2011 - 6:09 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Jan 29 (ANI): A new study examines whether the production of defense traits against insects and mammals incurs costs to the plants.
University of Zurich together with their American colleagues planted different knockout-mutants of the same genotype of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and then harvested a subset of these plants in evenly distributed intervals to measure the biomass growth over the whole plant life.
“Mutants with suppressed defense mechanisms showed an increased growth rate,” said Tobias Zost.
However, the faster growth comes in exchange of defense mechanisms. Aphids reproduce faster on these plants than on slow growing plants with intact defense mechanisms.
The finding has important implications for agricultural crops. These crops have been selected for high yield and as a consequence have very low natural resistance to herbivores, consequentially requiring high input of insecticides.
The study appears in Proceedings of the Royal Society. (ANI)
- Genetic mutation helps plants use less water without biomass loss - Jan 12, 2011
- Plant found with built-in drought alarm - Jan 13, 2012
- Higher CO2 could change plant evolution - Feb 17, 2011
- Even insects have a self-protective instinct (Lead) - Aug 10, 2010
- Leaves guide plant's battle for sunlight - Apr 16, 2012
- Potential new way for plants to fend off pests - starvation - Mar 30, 2011
- Why some plants flower in spring while others in summer - Jun 30, 2010
- Insects can sense danger on mammals' breath - Aug 10, 2010
- Seedless custard apples set to become next bananas - Mar 15, 2011
- Scientists discover key missing link in signaling pathway for plant steroid hormones - Sep 09, 2009
- Plants adapt genetically to survive unfavourable environments - Feb 01, 2011
- Scientists achieve breakthrough in global warming plant production - Mar 31, 2009
- Plants produced sexually better genetically equipped to defend against insects - Jul 14, 2009
- GM crops no longer safe from pests - Jun 21, 2012
- Plant insects sense mammalian breath to escape from being eaten - Aug 10, 2010
Tags: agricultural crops, american colleagues, defense mechanisms, genotype, growing plants, high yield, insecticides, insects, intervals, jan 29, knockout, mammals, model plant arabidopsis, mutants, natural resistance, plant arabidopsis thaliana, proceedings of the royal society, subset, tobias, university of zurich