Hi everyone! I'm a high school student in Massachusetts and am interested in researching the effects of rainwater, in the pitchers of Sarracenia purpurea and Nepenthes sp., on enzyme activity in the pitchers' digestive fluid. I'm new to NECPS and carnivorous plants in general, so chances are, I will post my questions about plant care on these forums, especially for Sarracenia purpurea, along with other questions about Sarracenia and Nepenthes.
Welcome i am interested in your research post any results you have on your experiment please, I have only heard not to add water to pitchers because it dilutes the digestive enzymes. although i would suspect rain water would naturally fall into pitchers in the wild or outdoor plants.
One thing to keep in mind is that only new Sarracenia purpurea pitchers will produce digestive enzymes. As the pitchers age digestion is aided, mostly by bacteria that develop in the pitchers I believe.
Post by natchgreyes on Aug 15, 2015 12:25:30 GMT -5
You might want to look at Aaron Ellison's work at Harvard Forest. He has done more work on S. purpurea than anyone else.
One thing to keep in mind is that S. purpurea can only produce some digestive enzymes (proteases, phosphatases,RNAses, and nucleases) but does not produce others (chitinases) and relies heavily on the food web for decomposition and mineralization of prey. That isn't the case with all species of Sarracenia, as far as I know. So, you'll have to be careful in your experimental design.
Similarly, different species of Nepenthes are adapted for different ecological niches and we might expect different arrays of digestive enzymes.
@greg: Thanks for letting me know. The results of my experiment will shed light on the extent of plant produced enzymes versus plant-and-bacteria produced enzymes.
@natchgreyeyes: I appreciate your input. I am interested in Aaron Ellison's work and he gave me valuable advice for my experiment. Sarracenia and Nepenthes are known to have amylase and protease. I'm not completely sure species-wise, and there isn't a way to find out until I do the experiment.
Last Edit: Aug 30, 2015 21:35:37 GMT -5 by pitfall