Studies of Physcomitrella patens reveal that ethylene-mediated submergence responses arose relatively early in land-plant evolution

Yuki Yasumura, Ronald Pierik, Mark D. Fricker, Laurentius A. C. J. Voesenek, Nicholas P. Harberd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Colonization of the land by multicellular green plants was a fundamental step in the evolution of life on earth. Land plants evolved from fresh-water aquatic algae, and the transition to a terrestrial environment required the acquisition of developmental plasticity appropriate to the conditions of water availability, ranging from drought to flood. Here we show that extant bryophytes exhibit submergence-induced developmental plasticity, suggesting that submergence responses evolved relatively early in the evolution of land plants. We also show that a major component of the bryophyte submergence response is controlled by the phytohormone ethylene, using a perception mechanism that has subsequently been conserved throughout the evolution of land plants. Thus a plant environmental response mechanism with major ecological and agricultural importance probably had its origins in the very earliest stages of the colonization of the land. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)947-959
Number of pages13
JournalThe Plant Journal
Volume72
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 18 2012
Externally publishedYes

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