Sexual reproduction only second choice for powdery mildew

Powdery mildew is one of the most dreaded plant diseases: The parasitic fungus afflicts crops such as wheat and barley and is responsible for large harvest shortfalls every year. Beat Keller and Thomas Wicker, both plant ...

Instant evolution in whiteflies: Just add bacteria

In just six years, bacteria in the genus Rickettsia spread through a population of the sweet potato whitefly (Bemisia tabaci), an invasive pest of global importance. Infected insects lay more eggs, develop faster and are ...

Study finds natural selection favors cheaters

Mutualisms, which are interactions between members of different species that benefit both parties, are found everywhere—from exchanges between pollinators and the plants they pollinate, to symbiotic interactions between ...

Plant virus alters competition between aphid species

In the world of plant-feeding insects, who shows up first to the party determines the overall success of the gathering; yet viruses can disrupt these intricate relationships, according to researchers at Penn State.

Virus inhibits immune response of caterpillars and plants

It is well known that certain wasps suppress the immune systems of their caterpillar hosts so they can successfully raise their young within those hosts. Now researchers at Penn State show that, in addition to suppressing ...

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