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May 7 2014

Infested tomatoes provide defensive weapons for healthy neighbors

Plants have chemical defenses against infestation. Sometimes, infested plants release volatile chemicals that signal other, non-infested plants to build up defenses of their own. Koichi Sugimoto and his colleagues at Yamaguchi University in Japan studied this plant-plant signaling system in tomatoes. They found that tomato plants infested with cutworms release a volatile chemical that healthy, neighboring plants use to create a pesticide.

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