How to produce more eggs
Zigmunds Orlovskis, John Innes Centre
Phytoplasmas rely on insects for dispersal in nature. Maximising the egg production of a host species is a fundamental requirement for an insect-vectored plant pathogen, such as phytoplasmas. The pathogen has evolved an unique molecular mechanism to make plants more susceptible to insect egg-laying. The picture from the John Innes Centre on the Norwich Research Park shows an egg from the phytoplasma-transmitting leafhopper insect Macrosteles quadrilineatus on a thale cress plant.