Plant biology

Calling In the Bodyguards

Science's STKE  27 Sep 2005:
Vol. 2005, Issue 303, pp. tw345
DOI: 10.1126/stke.3032005tw345

Plants attacked by herbivorous insect pests can bring out their own chemical defenses but also can call in "bodyguards," predators that prey on the first round of pests. Volatile compounds are important in this signaling triangle. Kappers et al. have now engineered Arabidopsis to produce the volatile compounds necessary to call in such bodyguards by targeting terpenoid metabolism.

I. F. Kappers, A. Aharoni, T. W. J. M. van Herpen, L. L. P. Luckerhoff, M. Dicke, H. J. Bouwmeester,Genetic engineering of terpenoid metabolism attracts bodyguards to Arabidopsis. Science 309, 2070-2072 (2005). [Abstract] [Full Text]