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The function of secondary metabolites in plant carnivory

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journal contribution
posted on 16.01.2020, 11:10 by Chris Hatcher, David Ryves, Jonathan Millett
Abstract Background Carnivorous plants are an ideal model system for evaluating the role of secondary metabolites in plant ecology and evolution. Carnivory is a striking example of convergent evolution to attract, capture and digest prey for nutrients to enhance growth and reproduction and has evolved independently at least ten times. Though the roles of many traits in plant carnivory have been well studied, the role of secondary metabolites in the carnivorous habit is considerably less understood. Scope This review provides the first synthesis of research in which secondary plant metabolites have been demonstrated to have a functional role in plant carnivory. From these studies we identify key metabolites for plant carnivory and their functional role, and highlight biochemical similarities across taxa. From this synthesis we provide new research directions for integrating secondary metabolites into understanding of the ecology and evolution of plant carnivory. Conclusions Carnivorous plants use secondary metabolites to facilitate prey attraction, capture, digestion and assimilation. We found ~170 metabolites for which a functional role in carnivory has been demonstrated. Of these, 26 compounds are present across genera that independently evolved a carnivorous habit, suggesting convergent evolution. Some secondary metabolites have been co-opted from other processes, such as defence or pollinator attraction. Secondary metabolites in carnivorous plants provide a potentially powerful model system for exploring the role of metabolites in plant evolution. They also show promise for elucidating how the generation of novel compounds, as well as the co-option of pre-existing metabolites, provides a strategy for plants to occupy different environments.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Annals of Botany

Volume

125

Issue

3

Pages

399 - 411

Publisher

Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© the Author

Publisher statement

This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Annals of Botany following peer review. The version of record HATCHER, C., RYVES, D. and MILLETT, J., 2020. The function of secondary metabolites in plant carnivory. Annals of Botany, 125 (3), pp.399-411 is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcz191

Acceptance date

22/11/2019

Publication date

2019-12-11

Copyright date

2019

ISSN

0305-7364

eISSN

1095-8290

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Dave Ryves . Deposit date: 15 January 2020

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