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News From the Field
A Bit Touchy: Plants' Insect Defenses Activated by Touch

April 9, 2012

a cabbage looper caterpillar A study by Rice University scientists reveals that plants can use the sense of touch to fight off fungal infections and insects. The study, published in the April 24 issue of Current Biology finds the first evidence that plant resistance--activated by the plant hormone jasmonate--is triggered by touch. In a study of Arabidopsis thaliana, biochemists found that touched plants had increased levels of jasmonate and increased resistance to insects and fungal disease. Full Story

Source
Rice University

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2014, its budget is $7.2 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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