Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Secret Of The Carnivorous Pitcher Plant's Slurp -- Solved At Last

Date:
February 2, 2008
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Splash! Ooch! Yum! And so another unsuspecting insect victim of Nepenthes alata (N. alata), commonly known as the carnivorous pitcher plant, falls victim to the digestive fluids at the bottom of the plant's famous cup-shaped leaf.

Scientists have deciphered the complex cocktail of digestive and antibacterial enzymes of the carnivorous pitcher plant.
Credit: Courtesy of Tatsuro Hamada, Ishikawa Prefectural University, Japan

Splash! Ooch! Yum! And so another unsuspecting insect victim of Nepenthes alata (N. alata), commonly known as the carnivorous pitcher plant, falls victim to the digestive fluids at the bottom of the plant's famous cup-shaped leaf.

Related Articles


For almost a century, scientists have sought the full chemical recipe for the pitcher plant's fluid. Japanese scientists now report completely deciphering this complex cocktail of digestive and antibacterial enzymes.

Unlike other plants that absorb nutrients from the soil, carnivorous plants growing in nutrient-poor soils have special organs to capture insects, digest them and absorb the nitrogen and phosphorus their environment sorely lacks. The identity of all the myriad proteins involved in this evolutionary marvel -- some of which could have beneficial applications in medicine and agriculture -- has been a mystery until now.

Tatsuro Hamada and Naoya Hatano used cutting-edge proteomic analysis to identify all of the components. They isolated and sequenced the proteins, then compared each with existing proteins to find structural matches. Hamada and Hatano detected seven proteins that exist mainly in the pitcher fluid of N. alata -- three of which can only be found in this species -- including useful enzymes that may inhibit bacterial growth and rotting as the plant slowly digests its prey.

The article "Proteome Analysis of Pitcher Fluid of the Carnivorous Plant Nepenthes alata" is scheduled for the February issue of ACS' Journal of Proteome Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Secret Of The Carnivorous Pitcher Plant's Slurp -- Solved At Last." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080128120453.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2008, February 2). Secret Of The Carnivorous Pitcher Plant's Slurp -- Solved At Last. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080128120453.htm
American Chemical Society. "Secret Of The Carnivorous Pitcher Plant's Slurp -- Solved At Last." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080128120453.htm (accessed January 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How To: Mixed Green Salad Topped With Camembert Cheese

How To: Mixed Green Salad Topped With Camembert Cheese

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) Learn how to make a mixed green salad topped with a pan-seared camembert cheese in only a minute! Music: Courtesy of Audio Network. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 26, 2015) Scientists are preparing a group of water fleas for a unique voyage into space. The aquatic crustaceans, known as Daphnia, can be used as a miniature model for biomedical research, and their reproductive and swimming behaviour will be tested for signs of stress while on board the International Space Station. Jim Drury went to meet the team. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Husky Puppy Plays With Ferret

Husky Puppy Plays With Ferret

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) It looks like this 2-month-old Husky puppy and the family ferret are going to be the best of friends. Look at how much fun they&apos;re having together! Credit to &apos;Vira&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Model Flying, Walking Drone After Vampire Bats

Scientists Model Flying, Walking Drone After Vampire Bats

Buzz60 (Jan. 26, 2015) Swiss scientists build a new drone that can both fly and walk, modeling it after the movements of common vampire bats. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins