Latest Issue of Science News

cover 3/7

News

Yo, aphid, I’m red and I’m bad

Aphids don’t fare as well on apple trees with leaves that turn red in the fall

By
6:55pm, April 14, 2009

Compare apples with apples, a researcher says, and red leaves on fall fruit trees look like they may be a warning to aphids.

Most domesticated varieties of apple trees don’t flare into red foliage in the fall, but a few do — as do their wild relatives, says Marco Archetti of Harvard University. Archetti used that color variety to test whether autumn reds signal trees with robust chemical defenses against pests.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.

More from Science News