News of the WeekPlant Evolution

Elaborate Carnivorous Plants Prove to Be Kin

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Science  06 Sep 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5587, pp. 1626
DOI: 10.1126/science.297.5587.1626a

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Charles Darwin thought the Venus flytrap, the elegant bug eater from the southern United States, had close ties to a European aquatic weed called the waterwheel. A century later, researchers decided that the waterwheel's closest kin was not the Venus flytrap but the terrestrial sundew, which also dines on insects. Now a DNA analysis of these botanical carnivores, reported in the September issue of the American Journal of Botany, suggests that Darwin was right after all.