One thought that struck me as a result of our conversation concerns the increased risk of genetic damage due to the oxygen that's produced from pumping water. It's actually something we're all warned about: the reactive properties of oxygen pose a risk of genetic damage that can cause cancer in humans, and we're told to eat lots of anti-oxidants to counteract it. I was actually going to joke about how maybe Utricularia should be eating more vegies, and then I remembered that I'd come across an article about Utricularia that discussed the large amount of algae that is found in Utricularia traps, and whether it was an unavoidable and detrimental accident that contributed to Utricularia's absence from some bogs; or whether it was intentional and offered some benefit to the genus. Here's the link:
Suspecting there might be a connection, I did a google search using the key words "algae anti-oxidant" and got some pretty encouraging results!! And so - I'm just chucking this out there as a possibility - it might be that Utricularia is able to minimise the genetic damage it sustains as a byproduct of carnivory by consuming highly anti-oxidant algae.
Again, just my own hypothesis, for whatever it's worth.
Edited by Tim Caldwell, 29 September 2010 - 07:45 AM.