Corn genetic heritage the strongest driver of chemical defenses against munching bugs
From left: Esther Ngumbi, Sierra Raglin, and Angela Kent
From left: Esther Ngumbi, Sierra Raglin, and Angela Kent
Photo by L. Brian Stauffer
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217-333-4216
May 3, 2022
 

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Plants release chemical distress signals when under attack from chewing insects. These “911 calls,” as entomologist Esther Ngumbi refers to them, alert other bugs that dinner or a nice place to lay their eggs is available nearby. If predatory or parasitic insects detect the right signal, they swoop in like saviors to make a meal out of – or lay their eggs in – the bodies of the herbivore insects.

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