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Thread: Topic for Nepenthes THESIS

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    Topic for Nepenthes THESIS

    For you guys who remember me /....

    I'm now finishing up my last year of college in California and returning this winter to do research for my undergraduate thesis somewhere in Borneo. i want to do a thesis on Nepenthes since it was a pretty big part of my life back then, haha and cI still have most of my brain filled with info about these plants

    So....is there anything you wish you knew about Nepenthes but could find out because there wasn't a paper written on it, and questions you still have about the Nepenthes world or any ideas for my thesis?

    Greatly appreciated - Jas

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    instigator thez_yo's Avatar
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    What field are you studying in college so I know what questions I can ask?

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    i dont do pots. amphirion's Avatar
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    Are you serious? We need to know if the sex of a nepenthes is determined genetically or environmentally. if we knew there would be tremendous implications regarding conservation. Since nepenthes readily hybridize when given the chance, I would assume that there would be a universal marker which may, through genetic testing, determine a sex of a plant.

    although, i think what i am asking for is more of a masters, phd type of request.
    " You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." -Inigo Montoya
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    UnstuckinTime's Avatar
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    I thought about using my limited resources to investigate the Nepenthes infauna (focusing on fungi and bacteria) in the pitchers. Culturing, isolating, and identifying the different species that grow therein. From then, it was going to be book-work to figure out why those species grow there (and if they are commonly found in all Nepenthes, and how being grown in controlled cultivation effects the population diversity).

    It would culminate in tracing the flow of nutrients from pitchers, via the Nepenthes infauna, into the plants themselves with isotope analysis (N13/N14 most likely)... but my poor college student resources would run out after I had bought the right agar plates and used my microscope to discover that, even with 400X magnification, I don't have expert identification skills, so that was a dead end.

    Maybe later, if you don't do it...
    "The plants you grow, end up growing you."


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    I am studying biology and my focus is ecology, but I have had training in microbiology and cell too. Well and then I'm a dual major with economics.

    Both ideas sound really interesting but i think the infauna in pitchers idea is more doable for an undergrad with one semester. i think ill talk to my thesis reader about that one.
    Anyone heard of GIS or geospatial analysis of plants?

    Thanks keep on throwing them @ me!

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    UnstuckinTime's Avatar
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    Hey, happy to help. Let me know how it goes, because I'm really interested in the results if you actually go forward with it.
    "The plants you grow, end up growing you."


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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    How about the molecular structure of the "Nep Juice" and its aplication to medicine or pesticides?

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    Nep Juice and its applications to new kinds of Energy Drinks?

    I doubt this is practical at all, but I've love to read a paper about the evolution of Nepenthes and specifically about luring & capturing mechanisms. How do peristome shape, coating, color, lid physiology (hanging tendrils, etc...), locations and types of nectar production, etc... effect the probability of capturing different types of prey?

    My guess is that different adaptations are probably better for different sorts of insects that are common in each species typical habitat but it would be fascinating to have a better understanding of exactly how the traps are optimized.

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