The DBG awards Dr. Norbert Bittner (Lab of Prof. Dr. Reinhard Kunze at Freie Universität Berlin) with its Best Paper Prize. Bittner who did this work in the lab of Prof. Dr. Monika Hilker during his PhD thesis together with other scientists from the Universities at the Spanish Barcelona and the Swedish Lund has demonstrated in the journal PNAS (DOI: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1910991116) how pines defend themselves against larvae of the herbivorous pine sawfly at an early stage. The pine trees notice the sex pheromones that female sawflies spread to attract males and thus before they lay eggs. Exposure to the pheromones primed the tree’s defense against sawfly eggs. The priming effect results in enhanced egg mortality. “For the first time it has been shown, that trees defend themselves against eggs of a herbivore at a very early time before herbivory even takes place,” the board of DBG’s own Wilhelm Pfeffer Foundation summarizes the results. Bittner will receive the deed at the next Botanikertagung. The award is endowed with 1,000 Euros.
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