Algae commensal community in Genlisea traps

Konrad Wołowski, Bartosz Jan Płachno


The community of algae occurring in Genlisea traps and on the external traps surface in laboratory conditions were studied. A total of 29 taxa were found inside the traps, with abundant diatoms, green algae (Chlamydophyceae) and four morphotypes of chrysophytes stomatocysts. One morphotype is described as new for science. There are two ways of algae getting into Genlisea traps. The majority of those recorded inside the traps, are mobile; swimming freely by flagella or moving exuding mucilage like diatoms being ablate to colonize the traps themselves. Another possibility is transport of algae by invertebrates such as mites and crustaceans. In any case algae in the Genlisea traps come from the surrounding environment. Two dominant groups of algae (Chladymonas div. and diatoms) in the trap environment, show ability to hydrolyze phosphomonoseters. We suggest that algae in carnivorous plant traps can compete with plant (host) for organic phosphate (phosphomonoseters). From the spectrum and ecological requirements of algal species found in the traps, environment inside the traps seems to be acidic. However, further studies are needed to test the relations between algae and carnivorous plants both in laboratory conditions and in the natural environment. All the reported taxa are described briefly and documented with 74 LM and SEM micrographs.


algae; carnivorous plants; Genlisea; commensalisms; phosphatase; phosphomonoseters; enzyme activity; ELF97 phosphate; phytotelmata; Lentibulariaceae; carnivorous syndrome; plant-microbe interaction

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