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A single touch can provide sufficient mechanical stimulation to trigger Venus flytrap closure


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 (2020). A single touch can provide sufficient mechanical stimulation to trigger Venus flytrap closure. PLoS Biology, 18(7):e3000740.

Abstract

The carnivorous Venus flytrap catches prey by an ingenious snapping mechanism. Based on work over nearly 200 years, it has become generally accepted that two touches of the trap’s sensory hairs within 30 s, 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 microrobotic system, we precisely quantified the sensory-hair deflection parameters necessary to trigger trap closure and correlated them with the elicited action potentials in vivo. Our results confirm the model’s predictions, suggesting that the Venus flytrap may be adapted to a wider range of prey movements than previously assumed.

Abstract

The carnivorous Venus flytrap catches prey by an ingenious snapping mechanism. Based on work over nearly 200 years, it has become generally accepted that two touches of the trap’s sensory hairs within 30 s, 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 microrobotic system, we precisely quantified the sensory-hair deflection parameters necessary to trigger trap closure and correlated them with the elicited action potentials in vivo. Our results confirm the model’s predictions, suggesting that the Venus flytrap may be adapted to a wider range of prey movements than previously assumed.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
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)
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > General Neuroscience
Life Sciences > General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Life Sciences > General Immunology and Microbiology
Life Sciences > General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology, General Immunology and Microbiology, General Neuroscience, General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Language:English
Date:10 July 2020
Deposited On:04 Jan 2021 11:01
Last Modified:05 Jan 2021 21:01
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1544-9173
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3000740
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDCR22I2_166110
  • : Project TitleMechanical Basis for the Convergent Evolution of Sensory Hairs in Animals and Plants
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDCR22I2_166110
  • : Project TitleMechanical Basis for the Convergent Evolution of Sensory Hairs in Animals and Plants

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