Review: Applications of plant volatile-mediated signaling

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Smell is one of the many senses that insects use to locate the plants that they use as food sources. Plants have evolved ways to exploit insects’ sense of smell, for example by producing volatile compounds that attract pollinators. Pickett and Khan review plant volatile–mediated signals in terms of their contributions to plant defense, for example the production of volatile compounds that deter insects or attract carnivorous or parasitoid insects. Volatiles produced by wounded plants can also be perceived by their neighbors, which respond by priming themselves in anticipation of attack. The authors conclude with a review of agricultural applications of plant volatile-mediated signaling, which offers an attractive alternative to broad-spectrum insecticides. New Phytol. 10.1111/nph.14274