Genlinsea - Carnivorous plant

Genlinsea - Carnivorous plant


The Genlinsea are carnivorous plants that capture their prey through mechanisms of

ASCIDES OR SIMILAR deriving from the modification of some leaves.

The flap of the modified leaves loses, in whole or in part, its shape to become a trap that takes on the function of capturing small animal prey.

The preys are attracted in various ways (with colors, with nectar, etc.) and remain trapped in the ascidian. At that point, devices are activated to dissolve them and absorb the elements that derive from them.

Generally, the ascidia are filled with water and the device that determines the death and decomposition of the prey is of secondary importance (a typical example is the Sarracenia and the Darlingtonia) as very often both the death and the decomposition of the prey takes place by the bacterial microflora normally present in these structures and not thanks to enzymes secreted by the plant but due to the secretion of acids by the acid-resistent bacteria they contain.

In typical carnivorous plants there is no symbiosis with bacteria and the digestion of the prey, which is always extracellular, occurs thanks to the secretion of animal proteolytic enzymes (pepsins, trypsins) associated mostly with the secretion of acids (formic acid) .

In some carnivorous plants the secretion of acids and enzymes is continuous while in others the secretion occurs only under the stimulus of the presence of the prey.

Plants belonging to the genus GENLISEA (family Lentibulariaceae) are also called "corkscrew plant".

The peculiarity of the genlisea are the leaves modified to "Y" which allow the entry of the prey but not its escape thanks to the modified hairs which are oriented inwards which allow the prey to move only in one direction.

Through a sort of spiral path the preys are forced to reach the lower arm of the Y where they will be digested.

It is thought that the prey is also captured thanks to the water present in the trap, exerting a sort of suction similar to that of theUtricolaria.

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