Create your own conference schedule! Click here for full instructions

The Virtual Conference is located at

Abstract Detail

Symbioses: Plant, Animal, and Microbe Interactions

Woodcock, Sofiya [1], Pineda, Allison [2], Kelz, Jessica [1], Smith, Natalie [3], Khalaj, Farzaneh [3], Einstein, Elliott [2], Vo, Thaomy [3], Faiola, Celia [3], Martin, Rachel [4].

Understanding the Metabolic Pathway of the Cape Sundew Through Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Analysis.

Drosera capensis, commonly known as the Cape sundew, is a carnivorous plant easily recognizable by its tentacle-like laminae coated in sticky mucilage drops that aid the species in trapping prey. Similar to other plants, the sundew releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are secondary metabolites. It is contested whether these VOCs are used by carnivorous plants to lure insect prey.   Most literature surrounding the Cape Sundew and other carnivorous species have primarily revolved around nutrient uptake. Most plants obtain nitrogen from the soil; however. many carnivorous plants live in nutrient-deficient environments and access these vital molecules through the degradation of prey. Previous work has identified potential digestive enzymes, but the metabolic mechanisms that enable nutrient uptake remain incompletely characterized. In this study, we aim to probe deeper into the metabolic processes of D. capensis using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy (GC-MS) techniques and VOC analysis. VOC samples were collected from the soil and pots as the background, unfed plants served as the control group, and plants fed with dried bloodworms were collected over a two-week digestion period while in a home-built dynamic headspace apparatus. These samples were then analyzed using GC-MS. Our results show identifiable differences in volatile emissions between plants in the unfed and fed conditions over the two-week digestion period, with more emissions appearing during the feeding process. These preliminary results indicate a difference in activity in the metabolic pathways between the dormant state and the feeding state of the Drosera. Analyzing and classifying the volatile organic compounds of the Cape sundew will be useful for defining different biochemical stages of digestion that correlate to both enzymatic activity and signaling pathways of carnivorous plants, as well as identifying any odorants that attract insect prey.

Log in to add this item to your schedule

1 - University of California, Irvine, Chemistry, 1102 Natural Sciences 2, Irvine, CA, 92617, United States
2 - University of California, Irvine, Biological Science, 1102 Natural Sciences 2, Irvine, CA, 92617, USA
3 - University of California, Irvine, 463 Steinhaus Hall, Irvine, CA, 92617, United States
4 - University Of California, Irvine, Chemistry, 1102 Natural Sciences 2, Irvine, CA, 92697, United States

drosera capensis
plant volatile organic compounds
gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy
carnivorous plant
dynamic headspace sampling
plant metabolic pathway
plant-insect interactions.

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P3, Symbioses: Plant, Animal, and Microbe Interactions Posters
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Wednesday, July 21st, 2021
Time: 5:00 PM(EDT)
Number: P3SM004
Abstract ID:1082
Candidate for Awards:None

Copyright © 2000-2021, Botanical Society of America. All rights reserved