Some of the defenses plants use to fight off disease leave them more susceptible to attack by insects, according to a Don Cipollini, Ph.D., a chemical ecologist at Wright State University.
Cipollini, an assistant professor of biological sciences, will present a research paper on this topic at the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America in Savannah, Ga., on Tuesday, Aug. 5. Some 3,000 national and international scientists are expected to attend the meeting.
“Plant Resistance and Susceptibility” is the title of the session in which Cipollini will present his paper. “My research shows that induction of a particular plant response to pathogens that results in enhanced resistance to disease (termed systemic acquired resistance) can nullify the induction of resistance to feeding by some insects,” he explained. “This interaction can result in the unfortunate tradeoff where plants become resistant to some diseases, but more susceptible to some insects. This phenomenon represents an ecological cost of resistance.”
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