UOG cracks code on moth-plant relationship - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

UOG cracks code on moth-plant relationship

by Brianna Santos, for KUAM News

Guam - The Western Pacific Tropical Research Center at the University of Guam has broken new ground, reversing how biologists have viewed one component of the plant-insect partnership.  UOG professor Thomas Marler says after four years of research, they were able to how a tiny moth's behavior provides a healthy dose of benefits for Guam's native fading plant.

The moth ensures that seed production takes place by pollinating the plants.  This allows for a more frequent reproduction cycle within the cycad creating a partnership known as mutualism between the plant and the tiny moth.  Marler said, "So it's a dual benefit - not only does the pollinator of the plant produce seeds by passing pollen around which is something we've well understood for a long time, it also allows the plant to become reproductive more quickly."

The results were published in last month's issue of the American Journal of Botany.

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