May 30, 2020
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New England Carnivorous Plant Society


"The mission of the New England Carnivorous Plant Society shall be to share, to gain knowledge of, and to achieve expertise in all phases of growing, education, appreciation, and conservation of carnivorous plants in both culture and in native habitats."

AnnouncementsWhat's New

Once again, we are sorry to announce that the June meeting of the NECPS which was scheduled to take place at the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center on June 20th has been CANCELED due to concerns relating to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Governor Gina Raimondo is now beginning to reopen the State and we look forward to the time when our meetings can resume.

All Dues Renewals Postponed to January 2021

Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic it has been one crazy year! We have only been able to hold just 2 meetings so far this year! And we may not be able to hold our popular Annual Fall Show this year and may have to come up with some kind of "Virtual Show".

It is because of this that NECPS President Dave Sackett has announced that there will be No Membership Dues required for 2020. All currently active NECPS Members will have their memberships extended into 2021.

Thanks Dave for making this important decision and for keeping the NECPS strong throughout these difficult times!

How Venus flytraps evolved their taste for meat

How does a plant develop a taste for flesh? In the play Little Shop of Horrors, all it takes is a drop of human blood. But in real life, it takes much more. Now, a study of three closely related carnivorous plants suggests dextrous genetic shuffling helped them evolve the ability to catch and digest protein-rich meals.

Carnivorous plants have developed many devious ways to snare prey. Pitcher plants, for example, use "pitfall traps" that contain enzymes for digesting stray insects. Others-including the closely related Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula), the aquatic waterwheel plant (Aldrovanda vesiculosa), and the sundew (Drosera spatulata)-use moving traps. The sundew rolls up its sticky landing pad when mosquitoes get caught. And the Venus flytrap uses modified leaves, or pads, that snap shut when an insect lands-but only after the pads sense multiple touches on their trigger hairs.

To find out how these traps evolved, researchers led by computational evolutionary biologist Jörg Schultz and plant biologist Rainer Hedrich, both of the University of Würzburg, sequenced the genomes of the sundew, the aquatic waterwheel, and the Venus flytrap, which are all closely related. They then compared their genomes with those of nine other plants, including a carnivorous pitcher plant and noncarnivorous beetroot and papaya plants.

They found that the key to the evolution of meat eating in this part of the plant kingdom was the duplication of the entire genome in a common ancestor that lived about 60 million years ago, the team reports today in Current Biology. That duplication freed up copies of genes once used in roots, leaves, and sensory systems to detect and digest prey. For example, carnivorous plants repurposed copies of genes that help roots absorb nutrients, to absorb the nutrients in digested prey. "That root genes are being expressed in the leaves of carnivores is absolutely fascinating," says Kenneth Cameron, a botanist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Hedrich and his colleagues conclude that carnivory evolved once in the ancestor of the three species and, independently, in the pitcher plant. Adding these two new origins to others already documented, the researchers conclude that meat eating has evolved at least six times.

Read the Full Article Here

Jeff Matteson Member Photos

In the absence of meetings, here are a few early Spring photos of some of Jeff's plants. Simply click on the links to view the larger images.

If anyone would like to learn how to post photos in our forum Click Here

N. Edwardsiana
N. Edwardsiana 2
Tongiraro Pleione

D. graomogolensis
N. bongso
N. bongso 2

Got News?
Have an idea for a presentation or demonstration? If there is a meeting or other event that the NECPS will be participating in, or some other carnivorous plant related news item that you would like to share? Please forward the information to the Webmaster so that it can be included here.

Missing our newsletter? Has your email address changed? You can update your email address or other contact information by visiting the Contact page.

Membership Dues are payable at or before the January meeting.

New Species of Pitcher Plant Discovered in Philippines

The newly-discovered species belongs to Nepenthes, a genus of tropical pitcher plants in the monotypic family Nepenthaceae.

The genus comprises over 170 species, mostly native to Madagascar, Southeast Asia, and Australia. The greatest diversity occurs on Borneo, Sumatra, and the Philippines, with many endemic species.

Also known as monkey cups (because monkeys have been observed drinking rainwater from these plants), all Nepenthes species are carnivorous plants that capture their prey by means of modified pitcher-shaped leaves that function as passive pitfall traps.

Attracted by nectar secreted from the underside of the trap's lid, insects and other prey slip from the mouth of the pitcher into a pool of liquid and are unable to escape, because of the pitcher's downward-pointing hairs and slick sides. The animals drown and are eventually digested by enzymes.

Named Nepenthes cabanae, the newfound species occurs only in Mt. Malimumu, Pantaron range, Bukidnon Province of Mindanao Island, Philippines.

"This discovery brings the number of Nepenthes species in this mountain range to eight," said Central Mindanao University researchers Noel Lagunday and Victor Amoroso.

"Mt. Pantaron is currently not a protected area, but the diversity of Nepenthes suggests concerted efforts should be made to develop a conservation strategy to preserve and protect the area."

Read the Full Article Here

13th ICPS Conference Postponed Until 2021

Currently infection to the new coronavirus is spreading on a global scale. WHO assessed this situation as a pandemic. The US declared a state of emergency yesterday. Japan is now ready to declare the same, as the pertinent law was approved by the Diet.

We cannot expect change for the better. Therefore, the organizer team would like to postpone 13th ICPS Conference - Japan by 1 year. We will aim at holding the conference in May 2021. However, we may reconsider it depending on the situation. As for refund of the paid registration fees, please refer to the conference home page.

-- Koji Kondo for the organizer team.

ICPS World Conferences

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