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Flowers May Be Spreading Disease: Study February 28, 2014
Bee covered in pollen.
“In total, we found eight major groups of animal pathogens that are potentially transmitted at flowers.” — University of Massachusetts Amherst study.
New research suggests that flowering plants could be hubs for the transmission of plant and animal diseases in the same way schools and busy airports allow germs to circulate widely.

Pollinators, such as bees, are believed to be picking up and spreading pathogens as they go from flower to flower.

Writing in the journal Ecology Letters, researchers from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst said: “As major hubs of plant-animal interactions throughout the world, flowers are ideal venues for the transmission of microbes among plants and animals.”

They point out that little is known of the process, and the decline in pollinators, like honeybees, shows the urgent need for further research.

Photo: File