A team of scientists at the Department of Molecular Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, has discovered that plants release a chemical compound called green leaf volatiles or GLVs to attract nearby creatures for help. The researchers examined a wild tobacco plant for their purpose. When tobacco hornworm caterpillars, Manduca sexta, attacked the plant in question, the plant produced a specific scent to notify predatory bugs called Geocoris who prey on hornworm eggs and young larvae.
The interesting study also reveals that plants ably perform simple computations. The tobacco plant can modulate the stench in proportion to the gravity of attack or the amount of caterpillar saliva that triggers the GLV action.