How Insects Find Out Infected Plants

Posted: Apr 24 2016, 5:55am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News


How Insects find out Infected Plants
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The leaves of virus-infected plants reflect light differently to attract the attention of disease-spreading greenfly, new research suggests.

Plant viruses alter the surface of leaves, influencing how light is polarized and thereby helping insects to potentially 'see' infected plants, the findings showed.

The majority of vector-transmitted plant viruses are spread between host plants by insects, in particular by sap-sucking aphids -- more commonly known as greenfly -- which are thought to be sensitive to polarization patterns.

The research, published in the journal PLOS ONE, could open up a new field of research as plant scientists hope to solve some of the major threats to global food security.

"Transmission of plant viruses by insects is of huge importance to agriculture and the environment. Much of the historical work carried out has been within the visible wavelengths of light," said researcher Gary Foster, a professor at the University of Bristol in England.

"However, we know insects can see polarized light regions, and this research does in fact show that plant virus infection can affect the percentage of polarization of light reflected from leaves -- meaning bugs such as greenfly have the potential to 'see' which plants are infected," Foster noted.

"This is an important breakthrough as plant pathogens can play a large part in reducing crop yields, so understanding how viruses are spread means we're better placed to try and tackle the problem," Foster said.

You May Like


The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/59" rel="author">IANS</a>
The Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) was established in 1986, initially to serve as an information bridge between India and its thriving Diaspora in North America. Now IANS is a full-fledged wire agency, putting out news 24x7 from around the world.




Leave a Comment

Share this Story

Follow Us
Follow I4U News on Twitter
Follow I4U News on Facebook

You Also Like


Read the Latest from I4U News