Jasmonates trigger prey-induced formation of 'outer stomach' in carnivorous sundew plants

Author(s)
Yoko Nakamura, Michael Reichelt, Veronika Mayer, Axel Mithoefer
Abstract

It has been widely accepted that the growth-related phytohormone auxin is the endogenous signal that initiates bending movements of plant organs. In 1875, Charles Darwin described how the bending movement of leaves in carnivorous sundew species formed an 'outer stomach' that allowed the plants to enclose and digest captured insect prey. About 100 years later, auxin was suggested to be the factor responsible for this movement. We report that prey capture induces both leaf bending and the accumulation of defence-related jasmonate phytohormones. In Drosera capensis fed with fruitflies, within 3 h after prey capture and simultaneous with leaf movement, we detected an increase in jasmonic acid and its isoleucine conjugate. This accumulation was spatially restricted to the bending segment of the leaves. The application of jasmonates alone was sufficient to trigger leaf bending. Only living fruitflies or the body fluids of crushed fruitflies induced leaf curvature; neither dead flies nor mechanical treatment had any effect. Our findings strongly suggest that the formation of the 'outer stomach' in Drosera is a chemonastic movement that is triggered by accumulation of endogenous jasmonates. These results suggest that in carnivorous sundew plants the jasmonate cascade might have been adapted to facilitate carnivory rather than to defend against herbivores.

Organisation(s)
Department of East Asian Studies
External organisation(s)
Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie
Journal
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences
Volume
280
No. of pages
6
ISSN
0962-8452
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2013.0228
Publication date
05-2013
Peer reviewed
Yes
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
106008 Botany
Keywords
Portal url
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/en/publications/jasmonates-trigger-preyinduced-formation-of-outer-stomach-in-carnivorous-sundew-plants(e289ba4b-43d4-43f9-9d61-691062045a10).html