- Not Exactly Rocket Science
Tobacco plants foil very hungry caterpillars by switching pollinators to hummingbirds
The partnerships between flowering plants and the animals that pollinate them are some of the most familiar in the natural world. The active nature of animals typically casts the plants as the passive partners in this alliance, but in reality, they’re just as involved. That becomes particularly apparent when the animals renege on their partnership.
Eight days later, and 35% of the flowers had started opening in the morning, compared to just 11% of uninfested plants. The flowers use a cocktail of various chemicals to lures in night-flying moths, but the main ingredient is benzyl acetone (BA). A large plume gets releases when the flower opens at night. It’s so essential that genetically modified plants, which can’t produce BA, never manage