April 19, 2021

Defensive symbiosis leads to gene loss in bacterial partners

The genome of symbiotic bacteria of beewolves is in the process of being reduced to their important protective function: the production of antibiotics (PNAS, April 2021) more »


March 9, 2021

Chemical signal in plants reduces growth processes in favor of defense

Beta-cyclocitral produced by plants after herbivore attack increases defense responses while inhibiting the production of metabolites for growth (PNAS, March 2021) more »


February 16, 2021

Climate change likely drove the extinction of North America’s largest animals

New research suggests that overhunting by humans was not responsible for the extinction of mammoths, ground sloths, and other North American megafauna (Nature Communication, February 2021) more » 


January 14, 2021

How plants produce defensive toxins without harming themselves

Defense and autotoxicity: Researchers elucidate the biosynthesis and mode of action of diterpene glycosides in wild tobacco (SCIENCE, January 2021), more »


December 29, 2020

Using a tree's natural defenses

Sybille Unsicker is investigating how black poplars defend themselves against voracious insects (Max Planck Research 3/2020) (pdf)