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

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  • Waltraud X Schulze, Max Planck Institut für Molekulare Pflanzenphysiologie, Germany
  • Kristian Wejse Sanggaard, Denmark
  • Ines Kreuzer, Department of Molecular Plant Physiology & Biophysics, Universität Würzburg, Germany
  • Anders D Knudsen, Denmark
  • Felix Bemm, Department of Bioinformatics, Biozentrum, Am Hubland, Universität Würzburg, Germany
  • Ida B Thøgersen
  • Andrea Brautigam, Department of Plant Biochemistry, Heinrich-Heine-Universitaet Duesseldorf, Germany
  • Line R Thomsen, Denmark
  • Simon Schliesky, Department of Plant Biochemistry, Heinrich-Heine-Universitaet Duesseldorf, Germany
  • Thomas Franck Dyrlund, Denmark
  • Maria Escalante-Perez, Department of Molecular Plant Physiology & Biophysics, Universität Würzburg, Germany
  • Dirk Becker, Department of Molecular Plant Physiology & Biophysics, Universität Würzburg, Germany
  • Jörg Schultz, Department of Bioinformatics, Biozentrum, Am Hubland, Universität Würzburg, Germany
  • Henrik Karring, University of Southern Denmark, Institute of Chemical Engineering, Biotechnology and Environmental Technology, Denmark
  • Andreas Weber, Department of Plant Biochemistry, Heinrich-Heine-Universitaet Duesseldorf, Germany
  • Peter Højrup, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
  • Rainer Hedrich, Department of Molecular Plant Physiology & Biophysics, Universität Würzburg, Germany
  • Jan Johannes Enghild
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 to assimilate nutrients as the plants 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 its prey digestion mechanism and the evolutionary processes driving its defense pathways and nutrient acquisition.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular and Cellular Proteomics
Volume11
Issue11
Pages (from-to)1306-1319
Number of pages14
ISSN1535-9476
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012

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