Elena Gorb, Stanislav N. Gorb
The aim of this project is to examine effects that different structures occurring on a plant surface have on attachment ability of insects. Emphasis is put on surfaces exhibiting anti-adhesive properties (i.e. considerably worsening or preventing the adherence of insects), e.g. surfaces covered with trichomes, three-dimensional epicuticular waxes, cuticular folds or their combinations. Trapping organs of carnivorous plants from the genus Nepenthes L. presenting a range of insect-related surfaces are among those used as model systems.
Recently, we focus on stems and flower stems in a number of plant species, which hinder the access of ants to terminally located plant organs/parts and by this, prevent ants from visiting and supporting aphids that feed on the apical parts of stems (stem guard syndrome) or from robbing nectar and other resources (greasy pole syndrome).