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How herbivores manipulate plant defences

Plants and their attackers have evolved in close association for hundreds of millions of years. The aim of Bart Schimmel’s research is to investigate how and to which extent herbivores manipulate their host plants, to help us better understand which selective forces drive plant-herbivore interactions.

He specifically focuses on investigating how a cultivated tomato plant responds to suppression of defenses by the destructive pest species Tetranychus urticae and Tetranychus evansi (at the transcriptional and metabolic level), with the aim of genetically altering tomato plants in such a way that defenses against these herbivores are restored.

Download the summary of the research here.

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