Plant sniffs out danger to prepare defenses against pesky insect

December 17, 2012

A plant may start to prime its defenses as soon as it gets a whiff of a male fly searching for a mate, according to Penn State entomologists.

Once tall goldenrod plants smell a sex attractant emitted by true fruit fly males, they appear to prepare chemical defenses that make them less appealing to female flies that could damage the plants by ...