Plants can hear loud leaf munchers

July 2, 2014 3:05 PM

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Plants can hear loud leaf munchers

"Our work is the first example of how plants respond to an ecologically relevant vibration," said Heidi Appel.

Researchers at the University of Missouri found Arabidopsis, a small flowering plant similar to cabbage and mustard, could recognize the munching sounds of an invading caterpillar. Upon hearing the hungry insect, the plant released additional mustard oils, a compound caterpillars find unappetizing.

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