RE:CO2 and VFT closure

Douglas Wiggins (
Sun, 5 Mar 1995 21:11:00 GMT

CC: I understand that the movement in VFT traps is due to a rapid
CC:growth of the cells in the two lobes - could the CO2 have simulated this
CC:effect by causing rapid growth? Has anyone else observed this?

The growth is caused by the rapid release of hydrostatic pressure;
when the pressure has been released, then the cells must grow to
reset the trap (how rapidly they grow is not important, but the
fact that they must grow is the reason there is a limit as to how
many times a trap can shut, from one to twelve times, depending on
the trap). The CO2 may cause the hydrostatic pressure to be
affected, or it may affect the way that the plant maintains
cellular turgidity - I don't know. I just wanted to make certain
that you understood that it is not rapid cell growth which
causes the traps to shut - the cells couldn't grow that fast. Oh,
the figure about how many times they will close came from a study
that was written up in the Carnivorous Plant Newsletter (CPN) put
out by the International Carnivorous Plant Society (ICPS), where
the closing of Venus' flytraps was tested (can't recall why) and
the number of times they would close was noted - the range was from
one to twelve closures per trap, if memory serves (it has been
getting somewhat foggy, lately, as I approach my 41st birthday and
hard-core senility).

-Douglas Wiggins, Portland, Oregon

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