Tomato armed against insects

Amsterdam biologists have armed tomatoes against harmful insects by equipping them with a trick from a wild variety. The researchers at the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences at the University of Amsterdam published research on this plant in the newest edition of PNAS. The wild tomato that the researchers used, excretes a substance - trichomes - into the air to fend off insects and arthropods. If they come onto the leaves or stalk anyway, they will come into contact with this substance and die. The tomato plants are covered in glandular hairs of less than a millimetre. If the assailant touches one of these, it bursts open and releases the poison.


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