Fun Science Fact

A plant called the vampire plant, or more commonly known as strangleweed, is a parasitic plant that strangles its host. It uses sharp protrusions, called haustoria, to penetrate the host plants outer layer and suck out sugars and other nutrients. Recently, researchers have discovered the vampire plant doesn’t stop there. It also transfers messenger RNA (mRNA) back and forth between itself and its plant victim. Talk about super-natural!

The scientists aren’t sure why the vampire plant does this, but they speculate that it might use the mRNA to learn more about the host plant’s growth or as a genetic Trojan Horse to make the plant more susceptible to the parasite.

The design God placed into this parasitic plant is amazing—although I’m not sure the victim plant appreciates it quite so much.


Photo Credit: © Catarii | Dreamstime.comCuscuta (dodder) Plant Photo©

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