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.