Sedate a Venus FlyTrap, and It Seems to Lose Consciousness

1 yr old Venus FlyTrap Seedlings

Mimosa leaves, pea tendrils, Venus flytraps and sundew traps all lost both their autonomous and touch-induced movements after exposure to anaesthetics. In Venus flytrap, this was shown to be due to the loss of action potentials under diethyl ether anaesthesia. The same concentration of diethyl ether immobilized pea tendrils. Anaesthetics also impeded seed germination and chlorophyll accumulation in cress seedlings. Endocytic vesicle recycling and reactive oxygen species (ROS) balance, as observed in intact Arabidopsis root apex cells, were also affected by all anaesthetics tested.

Anaesthetics stop diverse plant organ movements, affect endocytic vesicle recycling and ROS homeostasis, and block action potentials in Venus flytraps