Chemical Communication

Communication between individuals of one species but also between individuals of different species is essential for all living organisms. Although plants can not talk, listen or see, they communicate extensively using secondary metabolites to convey messages.

We study the interaction between plants and insects through metabolites present in the plant or emitted into the atmosphere and the underground communication of plants with organisms such as parasitic plants and mycorrhizal fungi. The same metabolites that plants use for their communication do often have extraordinary other biological activities as well. Man is exploiting these activities by using these metabolites to make drugs against a range of diseases.