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Mol Cell Proteomics. 2012 Nov;11(11):1306-19. doi: 10.1074/mcp.M112.021006. Epub 2012 Aug 12.

The protein composition of the digestive fluid from the venus flytrap sheds light on prey digestion mechanisms.

Author information

1
Max Planck Institut für Molekulare Pflanzenphysiologie, Am Mühlenberg 1, 14476 Potsdam, Germany.

Abstract

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.

PMID:
22891002
PMCID:
PMC3494193
DOI:
10.1074/mcp.M112.021006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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