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Kinematics Governing Mechanotransduction in the Sensory Hair of the Venus flytrap

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Saikia Eashan, Läubli Nino F., Burri Jan T., Rüggeberg Markus, Schlepütz Christian M., Vogler Hannes, Burgert Ingo, Herrmann Hans J., Nelson Bradley J., Grossniklaus Ueli, Wittel Falk K.,
Project Mechanical Basis for the Convergent Evolution of Sensory Hairs in Animals and Plants
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume (Issue) 22(1)
Page(s) 280 - 280
Title of proceedings International Journal of Molecular Sciences
DOI 10.3390/ijms22010280

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


Insects fall prey to the Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) when they touch the sensory hairs located on the flytrap lobes, causing sudden trap closure. The mechanical stimulus imparted by the touch produces an electrical response in the sensory cells of the trigger hair. These cells are found in a constriction near the hair base, where a notch appears around the hair’s periphery. There are mechanosensitive ion channels (MSCs) in the sensory cells that open due to a change in membrane tension; however, the kinematics behind this process is unclear. In this study, we investigate how the stimulus acts on the sensory cells by building a multi-scale hair model, using morphometric data obtained from μ-CT scans. We simulated a single-touch stimulus and evaluated the resulting cell wall stretch. Interestingly, the model showed that high stretch values are diverted away from the notch periphery and, instead, localized in the interior regions of the cell wall. We repeated our simulations for different cell shape variants to elucidate how the morphology influences the location of these high-stretch regions. Our results suggest that there is likely a higher mechanotransduction activity in these ’hotspots’, which may provide new insights into the arrangement and functioning of MSCs in the flytrap.