Carnivorous plants of the genus Sarracenia rely on microorganisms in their pitchers to decompose drowned insects. The environment inside pitchers is considered to be aerobic; however, there might be zones, such as at the bottom of the pitcher, where anaerobic conditions develop. Samples of the sediment at the bottom of Sarracenia purpurea pitchers were analyzed for the presence of archaea, using PCR and sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Archaeal DNA was detected in 20% of sampled pitchers. All sequences were closely related to Methanobrevibacter. Therefore, pitchers may contain anoxic zones inhabited by methanogens.
- Sarracenia purpurea