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J Biosci Bioeng. 2011 Oct;112(4):315-20. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiosc.2011.06.010. Epub 2011 Jul 21.

Isolation and characterization of novel lipases from a metagenomic library of the microbial community in the pitcher fluid of the carnivorous plant Nepenthes hybrida.

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Department of Material and Environmental Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Utsunomiya University, 7-1-2 Yoto, Utsunomiya 321-8585, Japan.


Members of the genus Nepenthes are carnivorous plants that use the pitfall method of insect capture as a supplementary nutritional source. We extracted metagenomic DNA from the microbial community found in the pitcher fluid of Nepenthes and constructed a plasmid-based metagenomic library. An activity-based screening method enabled the isolation of two lipase genes, lip1 and lip2. Both Lip1 and Lip2 belong to a novel family or subfamily of lipases and show lipase activities in acidic conditions, such as those found in pitcher fluid. This study was conducted under the assumption that the secreted Lip1 and Lip2 were capable of enzymatic activity in the acidic pitcher fluid.

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