Plants vs. Insects: An Amazon Epic for the Ages

Insects are enemy number one to plants the world over: They munch leaves, suck sap, bore stems, and devour roots. To fight back, plants have evolved an army’s worth of defenses that confuse, repel, deter, and sicken their attackers.

“As soon as the first insect took a bite out of a plant, what I like to refer to as the arms race began between plants and insects,” said Tom Turpin, an entomologist at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.