Plants are master chemists, and Michigan State University researchers have unlocked their secret of producing specialized metabolites.
The research, published in the latest issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, combined plant biology and machine learning to sort through tens of thousands of genes to determine which genes make specialized metabolites.
Some metabolites attract pollinators while others repel pests. Ever wonder why deer eat tulips and not daffodils? It’s because daffodils have metabolites to fend off the critters who’d dine on them.