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99-million-year-old beetle trapped in amber served as pollinator to evergreen cycads     2018/08/16 19:32

Flowering plants are well known for their special relationship to the insects and other animals that serve as their pollinators. But, before the rise of angiosperms, another group of unusual evergreen gymnosperms, known as cycads, may have been the first insect-pollinated plants. Now, researchers have uncovered the earliest definitive fossil evidence of that intimate relationship between cycads and insects.

How an herbivore hijacks a nutrient uptake strategy of its host plant     2018/08/16 19:31

Maize plants release secondary metabolites into the soil that bind to iron and thereby facilitate its uptake by the plant. The Western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera), the economically most important maize pest worldwide, is attracted by these complexes, extracts the bound iron from the maize plant and uses it for its own nutrition. With these insights, researchers provide a new explanation for the extraordinary success of the Western corn rootworm as a global maize pest.

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