Defended fortresses or moving targets

Two 30-year-old theories aim at describing the ecology of plant defenses to insects. Emmanuel Gaquerel and collaborators at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Germany combined recent developments in metabolomics and information theory to test predictions of these two theories (“Optimal defense” and “Moving target”). This study, published on June 10th 2020 in Science Advances, provides a better understanding on strategies employed by plants to reorganise their metabolism when attacked by phytophagous insects.

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