News From the Field
A Bit Touchy: Plants' Insect Defenses Activated by Touch
April 9, 2012
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.
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