Crop Biotech Update

Scientists to Unveil Secrets of Carnivorous Plants

March 13, 2013

John Innes Centre professor, Enrico Coen, received €2.5M funding from EU to conduct a research on carnivorous plants. Coen and team will use 3D imaging and genetic analysis to understand the growth of the carnivorous plants at the cellular and tissue levels and how genes control the mechanisms involved. They will focus on bladderworts, which belong to genus Utricularis. These plants inhabit in aquatic environments and acquire important nutrients from water-fleas, and protozoans in lieu of having roots. The leaves of bladderworts are shaped into vessels with trap doors attached to trigger hairs. When an animal touches the hairs, the door opens and the animal is sucked in the digested by the plant.