Defenses, Physical - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences

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External Defenses

Plant Color.

Herbivorous insects sometimes use leaf and flower color as an aid in finding suitable host plants for food or for egg laying. Red foliage of cotton (Gossypium), cabbage (Brassica oleracea), and Brussels sprouts (Brassica oleracea, variety gemmifera) is discriminated against by the cotton boll weevil, imported cabbage worm, and cabbage aphid, respectively.

Surface Waxes.

The epicuticle of plant tissue is composed of surface waxes that protect against desiccation and often provide defense against insect attack and disease pathogens. Defensive waxes on plants of the mustard family (Cruciferae), such as cabbage, contain chemical compounds that repel pests such as flea beetles. The spatial orientation of waxy plates and rods on the leaves of resistant Brussels sprouts interferes with locomotion and adhesion by flea beetles. In some species of raspberry (Rubus), thick secretions of surface waxes act as a physical barrier by restricting aphids from successfully...

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This section contains 1,167 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Defenses, Physical Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences
Defenses, Physical from Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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