20 Dec 2015

Gardeners and farmers are well aware of aphids as a sap eating pest of various crops and flowering plants. They suck up a sugary sap from plants and an infestation can be devastating. These little bugs are even farmed by ants and preyed on by a variety of insects such as ladybird larvae. It seems that aphids are an extremely complex organism as their diet lacks an adequate amount of amino acids. To compensate for this aphids, in association with bacteria, reform the little amino acid in sap into a more balanced form of amino acids that meets their needs to thrive and prosper. So, instead of just being a pest, and largely an unwelcome visitor, they have the ability to present a positive face towards the world at large. The research is published in the Journal of Experimental Biology - see http://phys.org/print369499447.html