Wednesday, February 8, 2017
How carnivorous plants acquired a taste for meat
A new study shows the origins of carnivore in distantly related plants including the Australian, Asian and American pitcher plants, which appear similar to the human eye. Although each species developed carnivore independently, the team of scientist concludes that the biological make up required for digesting insects evolved in a strikingly similar. A genetic analysis, which included sequencing the entire genome of Cephalotus, found strong evidence that during their evolution into carnivores, each of these plants co-opted many of the same ancient proteins to create enzymes for digesting prey. Over time, in all the species, plant protein families that originally assisted in self-defense against disease and other stresses developed into the digestive enzymes we see today.
I think this article is extremely informative about how genetics plays such a crucial role in all living organism. Even though these are just plants they can adapt, and can have something similar to taste buds in humans. Science seems to never fail me; these plants didn't have one or two evolutionary changes, but three. Its remarkable what evolution can produce over couples of millions of years.