It Takes a Village: Tweaking neighbors reroutes evolution

12:09pm, November 20, 2007

When it comes to evolution, no plant stands alone.

For mustard plants, investing heavily in pest defense is a good idea if a different plant species lives next door, says Richard Lankau of the Illinois Natural History Survey in Champaign. If the nearest plant happens to be another mustard, however, then the investment in protection becomes a bloated military budget and the offspring suffer.

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