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Plants defend themselves while being eaten

Fri, May 22, 2015, 02:54 PM
New York, May 22: Vegetarians please note! Next time when you chew upon your favourite lettuce, be a little more considerate.

According to researchers from the University of Missouri (MU), plants can identify the sound of themselves being eaten and react to the threat.

The team found that plants responded to the sounds that caterpillars make when eating and responded with more defences.

They release more mustard oils which are unappealing to caterpillars and thus ward them off, Daily Mail reported citing the study.

But plants did not defend against the wind despite it having a similar acoustic sound.

In the study, caterpillars were placed on Arabidopsis, a small flowering plant related to cabbage and mustard.

Using a laser, researchers were able to measure the movement of the leaf in response to the chewing caterpillar.
Agency: IANS
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