Advanced Host Age Yields Better Tolerance To Parasite

Lab Report

By: Ann Northrup

Ann Northrup spent her undergraduate years at the University of Michigan, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in microbiology….

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Bidens pilosa var. pilosa  Photo: Alpsdake via Wikimedia CC

Bidens pilosa var. pilosa Photo: Alpsdake via Wikimedia CC

A biocontrol technique to manage invasive exotic plants is an attractive option, especially if the parasite to the exotic host is already native to the country. In China, a native dodder is being studied for use against beggar-ticks (Bidens pilosa), a plant native to the Americas but invasive in Asia. Young Bidens plants colonized by dodder suffer due to a reduction in their ability to produce defensive compounds and may not survive. Progressively older plants were less affected and would not likely be managed by the dodder.

Annals of Botany, doi: 10.1093/aobpla/plv031, April 2015