Woodrats’ genes help them to win arms race against food

15 agosto 2014

A handful of genes arm the woodrat against the toxic chemicals in its foodstuff, the creosote plant, according to research. It’s long been a mystery exactly how the woodrat developed the ability to handle the chemicals in the creosote plant, which are toxic to other rodents. The new study identifies the genes switched on in two species of woodrat with resistance to the plant poisons, showing that the genes that they are born with play a central role in whether they feel the effects of its toxic chemicals.