Congratulations to Vicky; her paper was published in PLoS ONE today! This project is the perfect example of how the best laid plans can be undone by biology. As Vicky was growing plants for experiments with aphids and leaf hoppers; an out of control thrips infestation swept through the plant growth chambers in the basement. Vicky had the choice to toss all the plants, wait for the chamber to be rid of thrips, and start over, putting her months behind in her research. Instead, she looked at the problem as a common occurrence in agriculture and used this free-choice arena experimental design to advance our understanding of how thrips alter the phyllosphere to the benefit of the human pathogen Salmonella enterica.
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