Date of Award

Spring 2020

Thesis Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Honors Bachelor of Arts




Paul Stephenson

Committee Member

Kasandra Riley

Committee Member

Pamela Brannock


Many species of plants have adopted carnivory as a way to obtain supplementary nutrients from otherwise nutrient deficient environments. One such species, Nepenthes ventricosa, is characterized by a pitcher shaped passive trap. This trap is filled with a digestive fluid that consists of many different digestive enzymes, the majority of which seem to have been recruited from pathogen resistance systems. The present study attempted to determine whether the introduction of a prey stimulus will coordinately up-regulate the enzymatic expression of a chitinase and a protease while also identifying specific chitinases that are expressed by Nepenthes ventricosa. We were able to successfully clone NrCHIT1 from a mature Nepenthes ventricosa pitcher via a TOPO-vector system. In order to asses enzymatic expression, we utilized RT-qPCR on pitchers treated with chitin, BSA, or water. Unfortunately, we were unable to draw definitive conclusions about the coordinate expression of the digestive enzymes.

Rights Holder

Zephyr Lenninger

Included in

Plant Biology Commons