Navigation Links
Ancestors of land plants revealed
Date:4/17/2011

It was previously thought that land plants evolved from stonewort-like algae. However, new research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology shows that the closest relatives to land plants are actually conjugating green algae such as Spirogyra.

Ancestors of green plants began to colonise the land about 500 million years ago and it is generally accepted that they evolved from streptophyte algae (a group of green, fresh water algae). But this group of algae is very diverse and currently ranges from simple, one cell, flagellates to more complex, branching, algae such as stoneworts (Chara).

It was thought that Charales were the closest relatives to land plants because they share (amongst other characteristics) a similar method of fertilisation, oogamy, with a large egg and small swimming sperm. For flowering plants this sperm is contained within pollen grains. In contrast, another type of streptophytes, the Zygnematales, use conjugation, a method of reproduction where the gametes are of equal size, isogamy, and one or both crawl, amoeba-like, into a fertilization tube where they meet and fuse.

Some phylogenetic analysis had been done previously, on a smaller number of genes, which seemed to support the Charales theory. However, a multinational team, involving researchers in Germany and Canada, analysed genetic divergence in 129 genes from 40 different green plant taxa. This data showed that, despite the differences in reproductive strategy, the closest living relatives to land plants are in fact the Zygnematales.

Dr Becker explained, "It seems that Zygnematales have lost oogamy and their ability to produce sperm and egg cells, and instead, possibly due to selection pressure in the absence of free water, use conjugation for reproduction. Investigation of such a large number of genes has shown that, despite their apparent simplicity, Zygnematales have genetic traces of other complex traits also associated with green land plants. Consequently Zygnematales true place as the closest living relative to land plants has been revealed."


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Hilary Glover
hilary.glover@biomedcentral.com
44-020-319-22370
BioMed Central
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Rodents were diverse and abundant in prehistoric Africa when our human ancestors evolved
2. Ancient DNA identifies donkey ancestors, people who domesticated them
3. Crocodile and hippopotamus served as brain food for early human ancestors
4. East-African human ancestors lived in hot environments, says Caltech-led team
5. Understanding apples ancestors
6. Fish on the menu of our ancestors
7. Two from one: Pitt research maps out evolution of genders from hermaphroditic ancestors
8. Circadian rhythms spark plants ability to survive freezing weather
9. Shootingstars provide clues to likely response of plants to global warming
10. New genetic study helps to solve Darwins mystery about the ancient evolution of flowering plants
11. Are invasive plants a threat to native biodiversity? It depends on the spatial scale
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/8/2017)... Feb. 7, 2017 The biometrics market ... the confluence of organizations, desires to better authenticate ... systems (password and challenge questions), biometrics is quickly ... systems. The market is driven by use cases, ... consumer and enterprise uses cases, with consumer-facing use ...
(Date:2/7/2017)... , Feb. 7, 2017 Zimmer Biomet ... in musculoskeletal healthcare, will present at the LEERINK Partners ... York Palace Hotel on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at ... webcast of the presentation can be accessed at ... following the conference via Zimmer Biomet,s Investor Relations website ...
(Date:2/3/2017)... , Feb. 3, 2017  Texas Biomedical Research Institute announced ... Larry Schlesinger as the Institute,s new President and ... effective May 31, 2017. He is currently the Chair of ... the Center for Microbial Interface Biology at Ohio State University. ... the new President and CEO of Texas Biomed," said Dr. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/18/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... A leader in science-based, ... , Nerium International is proud to introduce its Age-Defying Night Cream, NeriumAD™ Formula, ... to consumers across Hong Kong. The luxury skincare products contain innovative ingredients that ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... ... Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), the nation’s leading voice ... systems (UAS), are launching a joint program to promote safe and responsible drone ... efforts. , AMA and DJI will collaborate on other potential opportunities to mutually ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... Calif. and GREENWICH, Conn. ... a private investment firm focused on venture growth ... the promotion of Josh Richardson , M.D. ... on investments in biotechnology companies.  He is a ... played important roles in Longitude,s investments in Aimmune ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... --  Biostage, Inc. (Nasdaq: BSTG ), ... organ implants to treat cancers and other life-threatening conditions ... closing on February 15, 2017 of its previously announced ... warrants to purchase 20,000,000 shares of common stock, for ... priced at $0.40 per share of common stock, with ...
Breaking Biology Technology: