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Taraxacum officinale as a new plant-herbivore model to study fitness benefits of root secondary metabolites (Dandelion)
Start date: Mar 1, 2014, End date: Feb 28, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Plants invest much energy into synthesizing root secondary metabolites which are assumed to improve plant fitness by protecting the plant against below ground herbivores. Testing this paradigm however has remained difficult due to the lack of suitable model plants. The key objective of this proposal is the establishment of the common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) as a powerful native chemo-molecular root-herbivore model to study the function and adaptive value of root secondary metabolites in nature. The proposed activities will not only expand the current understanding on plant-environment interactions, but will also deliver essential resources for further research on an ecologically and economically relevant plant species native to central Europe.
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