When pollinators are also herbivores ($)

The interaction between wild tobacco (Nicotiana attenuata) and the moth Manduca sexta, which is both a pollinator and a herbivore, is a model for plant/ arthropod interactions and has revealed insights into chemical signals and defenses. Zhou et al. show that a single compound, the sesquiterpene (E)-α-bergamotene, serves as both a pollinator attractor when produced in flowers at night (when the adult moths pollinators are active), and when produced in leaves acts as an indirect defense signal by attracting predators, which eat the herbivorous larvae. Interestingly, a single gene that is under circadian control is responsible for the production of this compound in flowers and leaves. Curr. Biol. 10.1016/j.cub.2017.03.017

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