Chemical 'vaccine' helps plants repel pathogens

When plants come under attack from invading bacteria, viruses or fungi, they mount a two-pronged response, producing both offensive chemicals to kill invaders and defensive chemicals to prevent infestations from spreading.

Plants defend against insects by inducing 'leaky gut syndrome'

Plants may induce "leaky gut syndrome"—permeability of the gut lining—in insects as part of a multipronged strategy for protecting themselves from being eaten, according to researchers at Penn State. By improving our ...

Portable gas detection shrinks to new dimensions

A sensor for detecting toxic gases is now smaller, faster and more reliable. Its performance sets it up for integration in a highly sensitive portable system for detecting chemical weapons. Better miniature sensors can also ...

Doing more with less in the study of plant chemical defense

Plants can't run away to avoid being eaten, so instead they employ a variety of chemical defenses to keep herbivores at bay. Understanding plant chemical defenses is critical for keeping crops healthy, and for answering a ...

Tropical forest seeds use three strategies to survive

The oldest living seeds found on Earth germinated after resting more than 30,000 years in Arctic soils. But in the humid tropics, seeds do not last. "A long-lived seed in the tropics is probably only a few decades old. This ...

Evolutionary arms 'chase'

In nature, plants engage in a never-ending battle to avoid being eaten. Unable to run away, plant species have evolved defenses to deter herbivores; they have spines, produce nasty chemicals, or grow tough leaves that are ...

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