Insect saliva affects the growth of plants - a healing practice

Insect saliva affects the growth of plants – a healing practice

Insects can change the development of plants

A recent study identified proteins in aphids’ saliva that can alter plant growth. These proteins lead to abnormal growths called globules, which provide insects a sheltered place to feed and reproduce.

Insects are actually able to reprogram plant growth by converting normal parts of plants into specially designed hiding places. In this way, safe havens to eat and reproduce can be created, according to a study by researchers from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The study was published in the Journal of the English Language.Current biologyPublished.

Many insects produce rodents

These structures, known as tannins, consist of a variety of insects, including some types of aphids, moths, and wasps. Balls take many different shapes, each defined in the shape and size of the species they’ve created – from buttons to conical spurs to long, thin spines. And researchers say that some of them resemble flowers.

Insects create goblins by manipulating plant development. In their work, the researchers wanted to find out exactly how insects affect plants to produce globules. “How does an organism from a world control the genome of a living being from another world in order to completely reorganize its development and create a home for itself,” explains study author David Stern of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus. Stady.

Insect genes directly control gallbladder formation

For the first time, researchers have identified examples of the insect genes that directly control the development of tannins. These genes are activated in aphids’ salivary glands and appear to control bile formation when the insects inject their saliva into plants, the team explained in one Press release For the results of the study.

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Gene determines the color of sprites

The gene identified by those skilled in the art determines whether these balls will be red or green in color. “It’s very likely that similar genes are also found in other insects,” explains molecular ecologist Patrick Abbott of Vanderbilt University, who was not involved in the research. This inspires more research.

Study author Stern adds that it was a long-term challenge to find out how to examine the formation of sprites. Stern adds that gallbladder-forming insects are not laboratory model organisms such as fruit flies, and little is known about their genetics.

A few years ago, an expert discovered that aphids (Hormaphis cornu) formed symptoms on the Hamamelis family. Note that even on one leaf, some Hormaphis aphids produced green balls while others produced red beams. This made it possible to clearly compare two different types of moths and see what genetically distinguishes the aphids that make them.

When the researchers sequenced the genomes of aphids that produced the green and red globes, they found a gene that differed between the two genomes. The team reported that aphids with one copy of the gene formed green balls, and that aphids with another copy formed red. This gene is unlike any previously identified gene.

Experts used it to collect aphids from the witch hazel and birch family (Hormaphis cornu aphids live on river birch trees in summer, but they do not form symptoms there). Back in the laboratory, the insect’s tiny salivary glands were dissected. In these glands, the team looked for genes that were only activated in the aphids that produce the moths.

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Bike genes determine the color of the balls

The researchers found that the gene that determines the color of tannins is similar to hundreds of other genes, all of which are specifically active in the aphids that make up the moths. The team named this group the BICYCLE genes.

How are plants made to form bile?

The gallbladder-forming aphids on witch hazel turn on these genes to produce so-called BICYCLE proteins. Insects can inject these proteins into plant cells in order to reprogram leaf tissues so that they form yellow instead of the normal plant parts, explains study author Aishwarya Korgaonkar.

The team is now working to identify the plant molecules that the BICYCLE aphids target. Korgaonkar adds that this could help understand how BICYCLE proteins cause plants to form spheres. “After years of questioning what’s going on, it’s so rewarding to have something to show,” Stern adds. (Like)

Author and source information

This text complies with the requirements of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been examined by medical professionals.


  • Aishwarya Korgaonkar, Clair Han, Andrew L. Lemire, Igor Siwanowicz, Djawed Bennouna et al: A new family of secreted insect proteins associated with phytoplankton development, in current biology (veröffentlicht 02.03.2021), Current biology
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute: Here’s how to convince insects with plants to make beams (veröffentlicht 02.03. Howard Hughes Medical Institute

important note:
This article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis or self-medication. He cannot replace a visit to the doctor.

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