Plants can hear loud leaf munchers

July 2, 2014 3:05 PM

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"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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