Primitive plants manipulate insects or "I have sex for food"


08/10/2007

Scientists from the University of Utah have discovered a strange method of reproduction primitive group of plants sagovnikovyh. Plants exude toxic smell and expel the pollen-covered insects out of male cones, and then use a pleasant scent to attract these insects to the female cones. Thus there is a pollination.

It has been observed that the insects known as thrips (bahromchatokrylye flies) leave the male cones of cycads, after the plants are heated and emit repellent smell (insects eat and covered with pollen sacs contained in whitish scales at the plant in the male cones). After the scent dissipates plant again attracts thrips insects but tend to have bumps female pollinating thus plant!

Scientists believe that this kind of scare-involvement is an intermediate in the evolutionary process of pollination. People think that plants are just beautiful look exude a pleasant aroma and are pollinators, but these cycads are specific way of breeding, frightening, involving and, frankly, deceiving insects (just sharing some food for sex!). In addition, the pollen of cycads - the only food thrips, insects so totally dependent on plants. A thrips, in turn, - the only insects that pollinate cycads.

Let us consider in detail the process and what is the cycads, in question.

Each individual plant is pollination period (known as the ripening cones) - from once a year to once every few years. This period lasts only four weeks or less. After the collapse of the bumps.

For two weeks, cycads can raise the temperature of its cones (particularly female). Every day, between 11 am and 3 pm, men’s hotshot warmed up to almost 38 degrees Celsius! The heating occurs by means supplies sugar, fat and starch, which under normal conditions of a feed plant cells. Even if you break a lump in pollination period, it will work (heat and cool) for a further period of two weeks!

Heating is accompanied by the release of large amounts of toxic substances with a deadly to insects action. This odor and expels insects carrying pollen from the male cones. The same substance in small doses and some other odors attract insects. As the cooling, excessive odor dissipates, and the bumps are beginning to attract thrips back to him. Covered with pollen thrips lured a pleasant smell and sit on the female cycad cones, inadvertently pollinating it. Receive a daily hot news - download news ticker, be aware of world events.

Original: Sciencedaily.com


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