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The mechanical basis for snapping of the Venus flytrap, Darwin’s ‘most wonderful plant in the world’


Burri, Jan T; Saikia, Eashan; Läubli, Nino F; Vogler, Hannes; Wittel, Falk K; Rüggeberg, Markus; Herrmann, Hans J; Burgert, Ingo; Nelson, Bradley J; Grossniklaus, Ueli (2019). The mechanical basis for snapping of the Venus flytrap, Darwin’s ‘most wonderful plant in the world’. BioRXiv 697797, University of Zurich.

Abstract

ABSTRACTThe carnivorous Venus flytrap catches prey by an ingenious snapping mechanism. Based on work over the past 190 years, it has become generally accepted that two touches of the trap’s sensory hairs within 30 seconds, each one generating an action potential, are required to trigger closure of the trap. We developed an electromechanical model which, however, suggests that under certain circumstances one touch is sufficient to generate two action potentials. Using a force-sensing microrobotics system, we precisely quantified the sensory hair deflection parameters necessary to trigger trap closure, and correlated them with the elicited action potentials <jats:italic>in vivo</jats:italic>. Our results confirm the model’s predictions, suggesting that the Venus flytrap may be adapted to a wider range of prey movement than previously assumed.

Abstract

ABSTRACTThe carnivorous Venus flytrap catches prey by an ingenious snapping mechanism. Based on work over the past 190 years, it has become generally accepted that two touches of the trap’s sensory hairs within 30 seconds, each one generating an action potential, are required to trigger closure of the trap. We developed an electromechanical model which, however, suggests that under certain circumstances one touch is sufficient to generate two action potentials. Using a force-sensing microrobotics system, we precisely quantified the sensory hair deflection parameters necessary to trigger trap closure, and correlated them with the elicited action potentials <jats:italic>in vivo</jats:italic>. Our results confirm the model’s predictions, suggesting that the Venus flytrap may be adapted to a wider range of prey movement than previously assumed.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
07 Faculty of Science > Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Language:English
Date:10 July 2019
Deposited On:04 Feb 2020 13:22
Last Modified:27 Feb 2020 09:46
Publisher:Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
Series Name:BioRXiv
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1101/697797

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