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Carnivory in plants is an adaptation to nutrient-poor environments. Carnivorous plants obtain additional mineral nutrients by trapping and digesting (insect)-prey with specialized organs. The species of the genus Nepenthes possess pitchers, metamorphosed leaves that contain a digestive fluid inside. This fluid is secreted by bifunctional glands that, in addition, also take up the nutrients.
Although there is an increasing number of reports on the protein compositions of the digestive fluid in Nepenthes species, our biochemical and molecular biological knowledge about the digestive and additional biochemical processes are still limited.
Based on enzyme activity measurements of proteases in the fluid with specific substrates and application of PCR techniques, we intend to study the regulation of pitchers fluid composition. We are also interested to learn more about the regulation of the protein composition on the molecular level. Therefore, we will approach promoter analysis for the genes of selected proteins.
last updated on 2013-04-02