The secret of effective hunting of carnivorous plants

Insect movements that accidentally fall into a trap on the stem of the fly make them eat meat faster.

According to, the fly fly (Venus flytrap) is an insect-eating plant that lives in a nutrient-poor soil environment. They sense the appearance of insects thanks to the sensitive hairs on the inside of the trap formed from the end of the leaves. The study published in the journal Cell Press and Current Biology on January 21 correctly explains the mechanism of the Venus flytrap closing the trap and the process of secreting the enzyme mixture to decompose the prey.

Picture 1 of The secret of effective hunting of carnivorous plants
The flyer prepares to close his mouth.(Photo: Wikipedia).

" Carnivore Dionaea muscipula , also known as the Venus flytrap, can count the number of times insects touch the catcher parts to trap and digest prey," said Rainer Hedrich, a researcher at the University of Würzburg, Germany.

In the study, Hedrich and his colleagues created electrical stimuli - the mechanics gradually increased in the trap of the Venus flytrap, similar to the process of insects falling into traps. Then, they monitor the plant's response.

The results showed that the team only needed to tap once on the hair on the face of the trap to allow the Venus flytrap to react and set up a trap in ready-to-operate mode. At this touch, the tree only pays attention to the impact, not the trap.

In the second touch, the trap closes to form a green "stomach" . As the prey attempts to escape, it continues to touch sensitive hairs and stimulate more plants. At this stage, the plant starts producing a special hormone. After 5 touches, the glands on the inside of the trap secrete digestive enzymes to convert prey into nutrients.

Hedrich's team is sequencing the genome of the Venus flytrap. They want to find more evidence about the sensory and chemical systems that support the meat diet as well as the evolution of these traits over time.

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