Timing is everything for the mutualistic relationship between ants and acacias

www.sciencedaily.com

Ant-acacia plants attract ants by offering specialized food and hollow thorns in which the ants live, while the ant colony in turn defends its acacia against herbivores. This mutualistic relationship only occurs in older plants. New findings by plant biologists identify the genetic pathway that appears to regulate the timing of the acacia's ant-sustaining arsenal.

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