Review: Jasmonate signalling in carnivorous plants: Copycat of plant defence mechanisms (J Exp Bot)

Carnivorous plants are one of the easiest ways to demonstrate to children that “plants are cool too”. In their new review, Pavlovič and Mithöfer show that carnivorous plants can also be a gateway to introduce the subject of how plants defend themselves against herbivory, by drawing  links between herbivory and carnivory. For example, glandular trichomes can be involved in both processes. Many digestive enzymes are also closely related to defense enzymes, but after gene duplication many have acquired a signal sequence to target them for secretion. The signaling pathway for carnivory also appears to have its origins in plant defense signaling, shown most recently for jasmonates and electrical signals, which the authors review thoroughly.  Given the near universal appeal of carnivorous plants, this review is a good one to consider adding to your reading and teaching lists! (Summary by Mary Williams) J. Exp. Bot. 10.1093/jxb/erz188