Radioactive tracer shows corn roots fight pest

Scientists have used radioisotopes to uncover the mechanisms corn plants use to combat a major pest, the western corn rootworm.

“The western corn rootworm is a voracious pest,” says Richard Ferrieri, a research professor in the University of Missouri Interdisciplinary Plant Group, and an investigator at the University of Missouri Research Reactor. “Rootworm larvae hatch in the soil during late spring and immediately begin feeding on the crop’s root system. Mild damage to the root system can hinder water and nutrient uptake, threatening plant fitness, while more severe damage can result in the plant falling over.” Read more.

Tags: Radioisotopes Biology glutamine