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Plants Can Tell the Difference between Attacking Insects and Respond in Different Ways

Discovery will allow plant breeders to target insect species when developing crops

March 05, 2015

Scientists and gardeners alike study and examine plants for outward signs of damage caused by disease and insects. Often, this damage takes the shape of areas chewed by insects that are easily observed. However, much of the important responses plants make to insect bites takes place out of sight. In one of the broadest studies of its kind, scientists at the University of Missouri recently studied how plant genes responded to insects that harm them. They found that plants can recognize attacks from diverse kinds of insects, such as caterpillars and aphids, and that plants respond differently to each attack. Identifying these defense genes could allow plant breeders to target specific insect species when developing pest-resistant crops.  Full Story
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Eating Invasive Fish Can Help Environment, Economy

Asian Carp found to be surprisingly tasty

March 04, 2015

Silver carp is an invasive Asian fish that is displacing native species as it steadily moves up the Mississippi River and its major tributaries. If this fish enters the Great Lakes, it could disrupt a multibillion dollar fishing industry. A University of Missouri professor has found a solution to this environmental and potentially economic problem: convince people to eat silver carp, which has been proven to taste better than other commonly consumed fish, expand the market to include universities and other food services that cater to large populations, and, in the process, teach students about sustainable solutions to environmental issues.  Full Story
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