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Scientists Suggest Sound as Possible Alternative to Pesticides

Fred Bodimer
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AFP PHOTO/Prakash MATHEMA

AFP PHOTO/Prakash MATHEMA

fred-bodimer Fred Bodimer
Fred Bodimer joined KMOX in 1982 after graduating from the University...
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COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMOX) - University of Missouri scientists suggest that one day we may be able to use sound, rather than pesticides, to protect plants from harm.

Plants have natural defense systems.

For example, if a mustard plant gets munched on by a caterpillar, it will boost the toxins in its leaves for protection.

When University of Missouri Columbia biologist Rex Cocroft played the sound of a chewing caterpillar, that noise alone triggered the plants’ defense system.

“What we found was that having been exposed to those vibrations, those chewing vibrations for a few hours, that primed the plants so when they were attacked by the caterpillars they responded with much higher levels of these mustard oils that are toxic to caterpillars,” Cocroft says.

That might lead to non-pesticide ways to protect crops.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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