Pollinator manipulators | Science News



Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.


Pollinator manipulators

Plant laces nectar with poison to better control visitors

1:08pm, August 28, 2008
Scientists investigating a desert weed have uncovered a high-stakes world of gambling, sex and poison-laced cocktails. The study, appearing in the Aug. 29 Science, details how a species of wild tobacco cunningly manipulates its pollinators for the sake of the plant’s children.

The research, which was done with “surgical precision,” demonstrates that the plants take an active role in their fate, comments Rob Raguso of CornellUniversity. “They are behaving — they are not passive players,” he says. “These plants are calling the shots.”

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content