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Recent ecophysiological, biochemical and evolutional insight into plant carnivory.

Autoři: Adamec L., Matušíková I., Pavlovič A.Publikováno : Annals of Botany 128(3), 241-259Rok: 2021

Background Carnivorous plants are an ecological group of ca. 810 vascular species which capture and digest animal prey, absorb prey-derived nutrients and utilize them to enhance their growth and development. Extant carnivorous plants have evolved in at least ten independent lineages and their adaptive traits represent an example of structural and functional convergence. Plant carnivory is a result of complex adaptations to mostly nutrient-poor, wet and sunny habitats when the benefits of carnivory exceed the costs. With a boost in interest and extensive research in recent years, many aspects of these adaptations have been clarified (at least partly), but many remain unknown.
Scope We provide some recentmost insights into substantial ecophysiological, biochemical and evolutional particulars of plant carnivory from the functional viewpoint. We focus on those processes and traits in carnivorous plants associated with their ecological characterization, mineral nutrition, cost-benefit relationships, functioning of digestive enzymes and regulation of the hunting cycle in traps. We elucidate mechanisms by which uptake of prey-derived nutrients leads to stimulation of photosynthesis and root nutrient uptake.
Conclusions Utilization of prey-derived mineral (mainly N and P) and organic nutrients is highly beneficial for plants and increases the photosynthetic rate in leaves as a prerequisite for faster plant growth. Whole-genome and tandem gene duplications brought gene material for diversification into carnivorous functions and enabled recruitment of defense-related genes. Possible mechanisms for the evolution of digestive enzymes are summarized and a comprehensive picture on the biochemistry and regulation of prey decomposition and prey-derived nutrient uptake is provided.

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