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The Parasite That Wires Plants Together  RSS feed

Posts: 823
Location: western pennsylvania zone 5/a
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this has been an especially bad year here with this stuff everywhere
I would just as soon pull it all out and let the plants fend for themselves


The Parasite That Wires Plants Together

By draining the fluids from several hosts, dodder vines inadvertently allow plants to communicate with each other and share alarm signals.

It goes by witch’s hair, strangleweed, devil’s gut, wizard’s net, and hellbine. And anyone who sees dodder vines in action will quickly understand why they’ve earned such dastardly, eldritch names. These parasitic plants emerge from the ground as a slender tendril, which sniffs around for chemicals released by potential hosts. When the tendril finds a target, it wraps itself around a stem, grows into it, and, like a vampire, begins to drain its fluids.

Wu’s colleagues Christian Hettenhausen and Juan Li tested this idea by connecting two soybean plants with dodder, and infesting one of them with caterpillars. The second plant got nary a nibble, but it still switched on hundreds of genes, including many that are involved in anti-insect countermeasures. It still produced higher levels of defensive chemicals. And when it was in turn attacked by caterpillars, it fended them off more effectively than plants that had never been parasitized by dodder.

Posts: 103
Location: Pennsylvania, Dauphin County
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Not sure I would call that a parasite but a misunderstood plant.

FYI, I am from a natural farming background we do not look "weeds" as most do.  When you look forward with knowledge, their are not many true weeds if any.  Love and then understand all in knowledge and not information and perhaps a lot of nature will reveal more itself to you!  I do not recommend believe the kool aid groups.

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