Pitcher plant's fluid include beneficial proteins - scientists

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Washington, Feb 2 (UNI) Scientists have finally uncovered the secret recipe of the carnivorous pitcher plant's digestive fluid which could have beneficial applications in medicine and agriculture.

Researchers detected seven protein components which include useful enzymes that may inhibit bacterial growth and rotting, according to an article in the American Chemical Society journal .

Nepenthes alata, commonly known as the pitcher plant grow in nutrient-poor soil and has special organs to capture insects, digest them and absorb the nitrogen and phosphorous their environment sorely lacks.

The identity of various proteins found inside the cup-shaped leaf of the marvelous plant was a mystery to scientists untill now.

To decipher the complex cocktail of digestive and antibacterial enzymes of the famous plant, researchers isolated and sequenced the proteins, then compared each with existing proteins to find structural matches.

The proteins existed mainly in the pitcher fluid and three of them are found in this species only, the scientists said.


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