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Pests include all insects and animals that interfere with the growth and health of plants. Approximately 10,000 species of insects cause huge crop losses worldwide. In fact, pest damage is responsible for about a 30% loss in crops around the world. Given the fact that nearly a third of the world is food insecure, this loss is truly a significant issue facing humanity.

 

Have you noticed that some plants may be unaffected by a particular fungus while others succumb easily to the same disease? This is partially because plants manufacture an array of bioactive compounds called phytochemicals, which are responsible for a variety of growth needs, including defense from pests and disease, and some plants do so better than others. Phytochemicals help plants become resistant to insects by acting as feeding deterrents and warding off insects with their smell. They also act as prohibitins and reduce or completely halt the development of micro-organisms.

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