Methods: This review will cover recent progress based on current studies on digestive enzymes secreted by different genera of carnivorous plants: Drosera (sundews), Dionaea (Venus flytrap), Nepenthes (tropical pitcher plants), Sarracenia (North American pitcher plants), Cephalotus (Australian pitcher plants), Genlisea (corkscrew plants), and Utricularia (bladderworts).
Results: Since the discovery of secreted protease nepenthesin in Nepenthes pitcher, digestive enzymes from carnivorous plants have been the focus of many studies. Recent genomics approaches have accelerated digestive enzyme discovery. Furthermore, the advancement in recombinant technology and protein purification helped in the identification and characterisation of enzymes in carnivorous plants.
Discussion: These different aspects will be described and discussed in this review with focus on the role of secreted plant proteases and their potential industrial applications.