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A team of scientists from the University of Bern (Switzerland) and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology and their partners have characterized multiple functions of benzoxazinoids in wheat: The toxic form of the substances makes the plant directly resistant to lepidopteran larvae, whereas a less toxic form regulates indirect defense mechanisms against aphids. Scientists have identified the “switch” between these different functions as a methyltransferase enzyme, which is activated by caterpillar feeding. This switch enables wheat plants to adapt their defense response to different herbivores (Science Advances, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aat6797, December 5, 2018).

Source:
eurekalert.org by Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology

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Everyday enzymes, now grown in plants

The jeans you wear, the orange juice you drink, the laundry detergent you use: None would be possible without the activity of enzymes. Currently the enzymes used in industry are produced through an expensive, laborious process, requiring cold storage. But an...

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1702 Groot-Bijgaarden
Belgium

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