Science

How plants produce defensive toxins without harming themselves

1 month ago   |   By Phys.org

Plants produce toxic substances to defend themselves against herbivores. In a new study, scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena and the University of Münster, Germany, were able to describe in detail the biosynthesis and exact mode of action of an important group of defensive substances, the diterpene glycosides, in wild tobacco plants. Diterpene glycosides allow plants to fend off herbivores. The study shows that these plant chemicals attack certain parts of the cell membrane. To protect themselves from their own toxins and to prevent their cell membranes...
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