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  1. #1

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    Unhappy

    Hello everyone!

    I am currently working of an end of session project, and I decided to write a report about the chemical composition (of traps/relevant structures) and digestion of prey by carnivorous plants.

    But I need sources for that, does anyone knows where I can gather that sort of imformation? Hopefully something more precise than "enzymes degrade the insect which is then absorbed by the leaf", I want to know the enzymes' names, how they work and how the food is absorbed.
    I wonder if it's possible to find that?

    Thank you!
    Cath
    If the dragon is bigger than his treasure, it's not worth the effort.

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  2. #2
    Moderator Cindy's Avatar
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    Hi,

    If I have interpretated what you are looking for correctly, here's an summary on digestion in nepenthes pitchers.

    "In newly opened pitcher, bacterial contamination is generally absent yet digestion is still observed. This is because the pitcher produces a free radical (such as hydrogen peroxide [H2O2], hydroxy radical [OH-] and superoxide [O2-]; the superoxide being possibly the one produced ). Free radical production increase with the maturity of the pitcher and peak just after the pitcher lid opens. Thereafter the production declines.

    But digestion continues. Firstly, lysosomes within the insects' bodies are released when the free radicals attack the cells. As the radicals continue to work, hydrolytic enzymes within the lysosomes are also released. So in essence, the insects digest themselves.

    Secondly, bacteria from the air begin to grow in the pitcher fluid. Bacteria produces proteases which are protein digesting enzymes.

    Ng, Tan and Wang (1982) observed the presence of yeast and gram negative rod bacteria in the pitcher fluid in the first week. In the second week, yeast, gram negative and positive rod and coccus bacteria, coccobacili, and various fungi were observed. By the third week, yeast, gram negative and positive rod bacteria, fungi and flagellates were found.

    An unopened or newly opened pitcher has fluid that acts like a disinfectant because of the free radicals. Older pitchers contain bacteria soup which will infect any wound further. One must know when and what to use on a cut!"

    (Taken from: Tropical pitcher plant ecology - digestion and early succession in the pitcher fluid. In "A Guide to the Carnivorous Plants of Singapore", edited by H T W Tan. Singapore Science Centre Guide Book Series, 28, edited by A Nathan, pp.132-137.)
    Cindy

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    well said Cindy.please post more research findings of cps in the forum as everyone here are addicted growers it's most appropriate:: ..Robert

  4. #4

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    Read 'Carnivorous Plants of North America (2nd edition)' by Donald Schnell.
    Alexis Vallance, U.K.
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  5. #5
    chloroplast's Avatar
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    PubMed is the world largest database of peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts and lists hundreds of CP-related papers. Abstracts are free and full manuscripts can be viewed/downloaded if your institution has a subscription to the journal.

    www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi

    My medical school offers access to the below articles; if you need them but don't have access, PM me and I'll send them to you as Adobe (.pdf) documents:

    Nepenthes:

    Athauda, SB et al. Enzymatic and structural characterization of nepenthesin, a unique member of a novel subfamily of aspartic proteinases. Biochem J. (2004) 381, 295-306.

    Chung-Il A et al. Degradation of a peptide in pitcher fluid of the carnivorous plant Nepenthes alata blanco. Planta (2002) 215, 472-77.

    Schulze W et al. Transporters for ammonium, amino acids and peptides are expressed in pitchers of the carnivorous plant Nepenthes. The plant journal (1999) 637-46.

    Sarrs:

    Ellison AM et al. Nitrogen availability alters the expression of carnivory in the northern pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea. PNAS (2002) 99, 4409-12.

    Utrics:

    Richards JH. Bladder function in utricularia purpurea (Lentibulariaceae): is carnivory important? American J. Bot. (2001) 170-76.

    VFTs:

    Schulze W. et al. Quantification of insect nitrogen utilization by the venus fly trap Dionaea muscipula catching prey with highly variable isotope signatures. J. Exp. Bot. (2001) 52, 1041-49.

    Good luck with the report, and hope this helps!
    Secretary, New England Carnivorous Plant Society (NECPS) http://www.necps.org/
    Member, International Carnivorous Plant Society (ICPS)
    Member, North American Sarracenia Conservancy (NASC)
    Member, The Carnivorous Plant Society (CPS)

  6. #6

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    Cindy : That's exactly the kind of information I'm looking for =D! Do you have an idea of how I might get my hands on that guide?

    Alvin : I ordered it from amazon, will read as soon as it gets here.

    Chloroplast : I don't think my institution has a subscription there, though I will check just to be sure. I'll pm you for those articles, if they can't be used for my project, at least they will help me understand carnivorous plants better =).

    I'll try to present that project to an expo-science that will take place in May (and bring as many of my cps as I can there for everyone to see), if any of you guys happen to be in Montreal in May, pm me so that I can tell you where to have a look ^_^.
    If the dragon is bigger than his treasure, it's not worth the effort.

    My Growlist

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    Don't forget to look through the "CP Ubergeek Reading list" thread on the Articles of Interest board here in this forum! All the articles linked to there are free to read, and highly scientific in nature. Some may contain the type of information you are looking for.

  8. #8
    Moderator Cindy's Avatar
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    I've serach these out for you. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

    Where to buy
    http://www.selectbooks.com.sg/getTitle.cfm?SBNum=26141

    http://www.triffidpark.com.au/htm_pages/books.htm

    p.s. There's one costing $89 at Amazon. That's ridiculously expensive. Daylight robbery!

    More references
    http://www.carnivorousplants.org/cpn...e292Digest.htm
    Cindy

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