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School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences

Mark Chase, a visiting professor at QM, on the ‘Attack of the Killer Tomatoes’


Scientists from the Royal Botanical Gardens Kew have discovered a number of plants, which were previously overlooked, that can catch and eat insects. The species of plant that have been identified include petunia, ornamental tobacco plants, potatoes and tomatoes and shepherd’s purse, a relative of cabbages. Researchers including Mark Chase, who is a visiting professor at QM, found pitcher plants and venus fly traps were more aggressive trapping insects while other plants are more subtle. Professor Chase said: “The cultivated tomatoes and potatoes still have hairs. Tomatoes in particular are covered with these sticky hairs. They do trap small insects on a regular basis. They do kill insects”  Read the article in the Independent.



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