How hidden flower features are crucial for bees

As gardeners get busy filling tubs and borders with colourful bedding plants, scientists at the Universities of Cambridge and Bristol have discovered more about what makes flowers attractive to bees rather than humans. Published today in the British Ecological Society’s journal Functional Ecology, their research reveals that Velcro-like cells on plant petals play a crucial role […]

Researchers determine plant defence in Tobacco

Empoasca sp. is not a typical pest of wild tobacco (Nicotiana attenuata). When this plant grows in its natural habitats in North America, however, it is attacked by tobacco hornworm larvae (Manduca sexta). This specialist insect is resistant to the toxic nicotine, which the plant produces as a defense against its enemies. When researchers from […]

The secret to good tomato chemistry

There is nothing better than a ripe, red, homegrown tomato, and now researchers reporting online on May 24 in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, have figured out just what it is that makes some of them so awfully good (and your average supermarket tomato so bland). “We now know exactly what we need to do to […]

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