The protein composition of the digestive fluid from the venus flytrap sheds light on prey digestion mechanisms.
The Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) is one of the most well-known carnivorous plants because of its unique ability to capture small animals, usually insects or spiders, through a unique snap-trapping mechanism. The animals are subsequently killed and digested so that the plants can assimilate nutrients, as they grow in mineral-deficient soils. We deep sequenced the cDNA from Dionaea traps to obtain transcript libraries, which were used in the mass spectrometry-based identification of the proteins secreted during digestion. The identified proteins consisted of peroxidases, nucleases, phosphatases, phospholipases, a glucanase, chitinases, and proteolytic enzymes, including four cysteine proteases, two aspartic proteases, and a serine carboxypeptidase. The majority of the most abundant proteins were categorized as pathogenesis-related proteins, suggesting that the plant's digestive system evolved from defense-related processes. This in-depth characterization of a highly specialized secreted fluid from a carnivorous plant provides new information about the plant's prey digestion mechanism and the evolutionary processes driving its defense pathways and nutrient acquisition.
Schulze, WX; Sanggaard, KW; Kreuzer, I; Knudsen, AD; Bemm, F; Thøgersen, IB; Bräutigam, A; Thomsen, LR; Schliesky, S; Dyrlund, TF; Escalante-Perez, M; Becker, D; Schultz, J; Karring, H; Weber, A; Højrup, P; Hedrich, R; Enghild, JJ
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