Press Releases 2020

September 28, 2020
Surplus sugar helps whiteflies detoxify plant defenses -  This pest insect uses sugar from its food to prevent the activation of the mustard oil bomb in cruciferous plants


September 18, 2020
Ancient human footprints in Saudi Arabia provide snapshot of Arabian ecology 120,000 years ago - New archaeological research presents the oldest securely dated evidence for humans in Arabia


September 10, 2020
Diamondback moth uses plant defense substances as oviposition cues - A Chinese-German research team identifies the olfactory receptors of a pest insect that control its preference for cabbage, rapeseed and related species


September 4, 2020
Air pollution renders flower odors unattractive to moths - Tobacco hawkmoths are not attracted to flower odors when ozone levels are high; however, the moths are able to learn that odors modified by ozone may offer a reward, that is, nectar. 


August 31, 2020
Dodder uses the flowering signal of its host plant to flower - The plant parasite eavesdrops on its host and uses the host’s mobile floral stimulus for timing its own flowering


August 24, 2020
Strigolactones increase tolerance to weevils in tobacco plants - In a crosstalk with other plant hormones, these novel plant hormones regulate the resistance to endophytic Trichobaris mucorea larvae


July 23, 2020
How does cooperation evolve? Researchers unravel why organisms frequently help each other


June 19, 2020
Fungal pathogen disables plant defense mechanism - The white mold fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum detoxifies the mustard oil bomb in plants of the cabbage family


June 17, 2020   
A changing mating signal may initiate speciation in populations of Drosophila mojavensis - A male sex pheromone no longer produced represents a decisive mechanism for the evolution of new species


June 12, 2020     
Statistical analyses of plant metabolites allow solid testing of plant defense theories for the first time - High-throughput analyses of small substances in Nicotiana attenuata reveal that plants re-organize their metabolism to produce highly-specific defense metabolites after insect attack


June 11, 2020
Versatile symbionts: Reed beetles benefit from bacterial helpers through all life stages - Bacterial symbionts support their host's larvae and adult insects in different ways


May 13, 2020  
How a mint became catmint - Researchers discover the evolutionary origins of the cat attractant nepetalactone



May 4, 2020    
Foraging Drosophila flies are open for new microbial partners  - Their openness to associate with previously unknown yeasts could be a crucial factor for the emergence of new Drosophila species


April 20, 2020 
Spores, please! Gypsy moth larvae love poplar leaves infected by fungi


March 2, 2020    
Whether horseradish flea beetles can deter predators depends on their food plant and their life stage - Larvae of these leaf beetles deploy plant defense compounds to fend off predators, whereas their pupae cannot


January 28, 2020
“Next generation” Max Planck Center opened - Researchers from Jena and Sweden are studying the impact of human-generated environmental changes on insects