Previous studies have shown that viruses alter the smell of plants, but have not explained why insects are always attracted to infected plants.
A recent study funded by the European Union and the Council for Natural Environmental Research (UK) has shed light on this.
Biologists at the University of Bristol (UK) used a series of photographs taken with polarizing filters and determined that the leaves of infected plants are less polarized than the leaves of healthy plants. . Plant aphids or insects are harmful to plants by recognizing infected plants. Then when they fly to healthy plants, they will spread the virus to the plant. The cause of the reduction of light polarization comes from the wax layer of the leaf epidermis.
An insect that feeds on leaves is harmful to plants.(Photo: iStockphoto).
Scientists note that the virus in a plant infected with aphids has a gene scheme different from that of an infected plant, not by insects.
The spread of plant pathogens significantly reduces crop yields and increasingly threatens food security. Knowing how the virus spreads, scientists can reduce and prevent the transmission of disease.
Professor Gary Foster of the University of Bristol (UK) said: " The transmission of viruses in plants caused by insects has a great impact on agriculture and the environment."
These findings are expected to encourage scientists to study further to reduce concerns about global food security. It can be used to complement an earlier study with the conclusion: The leaves can detect light waves and adjust the growth rate accordingly when competing with neighboring trees. As the growth rate improves and the risk of virus infection decreases, crop yields can increase significantly.
The study was published in PLoS ONE magazine on April 24th.