Evolution: corn plant pest adaptation (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Friday, August 17, 2018, 15:15 (62 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

" The fact that the Western corn rootworm is able to perceive iron complexes and to adjust its dietary behavior accordingly is also relevant for the understanding of food chains. "Many important trace elements are bound to organic molecules in nature. We therefore expect that other higher organisms also have the ability to perceive biologically available forms of trace elements and to ingest them to improve their nutrient balance," says Matthias Erb. "The Western corn rootworm is a frustrating, yet highly fascinating pest that has just taught us a new trick of nature.'"

David: Comment: This is an amazing adaptation the larvae worked out.

Tony: I am not so sure this is an 'adaptation'. If you consider that the root worm was programmed this way initially, but that corn was not really grown the way that we grow it today (in huge....huge..unbelievably huge) farms, then the most likely scenario is that this pre-existing trait is pestulant because the amount of iron released from the corn (and subsequently replenished by farmers through fertilizer) has led to a population control problem.

Why would we find it surprising that animals are programmed for certain nutrient needs, and the methods of obtaining/tracking them? No one thinks it odd that mammals smell.

Ah, programming! All organisms need trace metals. Our hemoglobin with iron comes to mind. A nd the needs should be common.

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