Teosinte Plants Recruit Bodyguards
Mexican teosinte plants, the wild ancestors of corn, seem to be better at attracting wasps than cultivated corn. Preserving and studying wild strains of plants could therefore show us how to better protect domesticated crops.
from Piled Higher and Deeper (PHD Comics)
Key Facts In This Video
Plants have defense mechanisms such as thorns, toxins, and wound odors. (0:16)
A plant's wound odors attract organisms that kill the plant's attacker. (0:53)
Wild plants may release more effective wound odors than cultivated plants. (1:23)