Plants are 'biting' back
(University of Bonn) Calcium phosphate is a widespread biomineral in the animal kingdom: Bones and teeth largely consist of this very tough mineral substance. Researchers from Bonn University could now for the first time demonstrate the presence of calcium phosphate as a structural biomineral in higher plants. The substance provides the necessary 'bite' to the stinging hairs of representatives of the rock nettle family (Loasaceae). It hardens the trichomes, which serve as a herbivore defense.