National Geographic : Mutant Corn Calls for Rescue When Killers Attack

8/06/2009 08:35:00 AM ·

By genetically supercharging natural defenses, scientists have engineered corn to send out the SOS when beetle larvae begin gnawing at the plant's nether regions, a new study says.

When under assault, the plants' damaged roots emit a gaseous chemical compound into the surrounding soil. Parasitic roundworms receive the distress signal loud and clear and begin doing what comes naturally—entering the beetle larvae and quickly killing the pests. Read more about the mutant corn at National Geographic

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