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Plant Signal Behav. 2008 Oct;3(10):778-83.

Active movements in plants: Mechanism of trap closure by Dionaea muscipula Ellis.

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Department of Neurology; University of Texas; Southwestern Medical Center; Dallas, Texas USA.


The Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula Ellis) captures insects with one of the most rapid movements in the plant kingdom. We investigated trap closure by mechanical and electrical stimuli using the novel charge-injection method and high-speed recording. We proposed a new hydroelastic curvature mechanism, which is based on the assumption that the lobes possess curvature elasticity and are composed of outer and inner hydraulic layers with different hydrostatic pressure. The open state of the trap contains high elastic energy accumulated due to the hydrostatic pressure difference between the hydraulic layers of the lobe. Stimuli open pores connecting the two layers, water rushes from one hydraulic layer to another, and the trap relaxes to the equilibrium configuration corresponding to the closed state. In this paper we derived equations describing this system based on elasticity Hamiltonian and found closing kinetics. The novel charge-injection stimulation method gives insight into mechanisms of the different steps of signal transduction and response in the plant kingdom.


electrical signaling; electrophysiology; hydroelastic curvature; hydroelastic model; ion channels; venus flytrap; water channels


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