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DonnaDon's avatar

Why Do Tobacco Plants Make Nicotine?

Asked by DonnaDon (26points) June 21st, 2010

My answer is that tobacco plants make nicotine to discourage insects from eating them. But what is your answer?

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4 Answers

netgrrl's avatar

Actually, tobacco plants get attacked by just as many pests as any other plant.

MissAnthrope's avatar

What I learned in Plant & Soil Science is that any plant we use for certain properties, such as herbs and tobacco, the properties that the plant produces are meant to be anti-pest, specifically anti-insect. That’s not to say your basil, rosemary, or tobacco plant won’t get eaten (and I’m pretty sure snails don’t count here, as they seem to eat just about anything), but I’m guessing that producing these oils and chemicals has given them an advantage in the past in terms of retaining their foliage.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Maybe the plants are actually manipulating us to nurture and spread them.

syz's avatar

@worriedguy Acutally, there are some writers out there that theorize that that’s exactly what some plants do, that is, manipulate us as a method of procreation.

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