Some angiosperms have lost their ability to photosynthesize and instead steal nutrients, water, and photosynthates from other plants. These parasitic plants pose a serious risk to food security, adversely impacting agriculture in poor regions.
Unlike pests caused by fungi or bacteria, parasitic plants are other plants that damage the health of the plants we consume. This makes standard management rules generally ineffective.
This project aims to uncover the molecular mechanisms that lead to plant parasitism, based on the hypothesis that these plants are able to communicate using the exchange of RNA molecules as a form of language.
The research aims to help develop new ways of combating these pests by understanding their communication system.