New protein helps carnivorous plants sense and trap their prey
The brush of an insect’s wing is enough to trigger a Venus flytrap to snap shut, but the biology of how these plants sense and respond to touch is still poorly understood, especially at the molecular level. A new study led by Salk Professor Joanne Chory and co-first author and Staff Scientist Carl Procko identifies what appears to be a key protein involved in touch sensitivity for flytraps and other carnivorous plants. The findings could help scientists better understand how plants of all kinds sense and respond to mechanical stimulation, and could also have a potential application in medical therapies that mechanically stimulate human cells such as neurons.
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