Plant 'smells' insect foe, initiates defense

Plant 'smells' insect foe, initiates defense

Researchers found that tall goldenrod has adapted to protect itself from the gall-inducing fly.

September 5, 2017
Industry News

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — It cannot run away from the fly that does it so much damage, but tall goldenrod can protect itself by first "smelling" its attacker and then initiating its defenses, according to an international team of researchers.

"We found another weapon in the arsenal of defenses that plants might employ against their herbivore attackers, in this case eavesdropping on a very specific chemical signal from an herbivore to detect its presence and prepare for future attack," said Anjel Helms, postdoctoral fellow in entomology, Penn State.

Click here to read more from Penn State University.

Photo: Pethan