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Researchers show that gene loss — not the evolution of new genes — helped drive the fly amanita mushroom into its symbiotic relationship with plants.
The plants produce a protein that only fluoresces around calcium, letting the researchers track its presence and concentration. Then came caterpillar bites, scissor cuts and crushing wounds.
Asian pitchers transplanted to Massachusetts bogs can mimic the living communities of natives so well that the pitcher plant mosquito — a specialized insect that evolved to complete its life cycle exclusively in North American pitchers — lays eggs in the impostors, new research shows.
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