The genome of the seagrass Zostera marina reveals angiosperm adaptation to the sea

Jeanine L. Olsen, Pierre Rouzé, Bram Verhelst, Yao-Cheng Lin, Till Bayer, Jonas Collen, Emanuela Dattolo, Emanuele De Paoli, Simon Dittami, Florian Maumus, Gurvan Michel, Anna Kersting, Chiara Lauritano, Rolf Lohaus, Mats Töpel, Thierry Tonon, Kevin Vanneste, Mojgan Amirebrahimi, Janina Brakel, Christoffer BoströmMansi Chovatia, Jane Grimwood, Jerry W. Jenkins, Alexander Jueterbock, Amy Mraz, Wytze T. Stam, Hope Tice, Erich Bornberg-Bauer, Pamela J. Green, Gareth A Pearson, Gabriele Procaccini, Carlos M. Duarte, Jeremy Schmutz, Thorsten B. H. Reusch, Yves Van de Peer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

206 Scopus citations

Abstract

Seagrasses colonized the sea1 on at least three independent occasions to form the basis of one of the most productive and widespread coastal ecosystems on the planet2. Here we report the genome of Zostera marina (L.), the first, to our knowledge, marine angiosperm to be fully sequenced. This reveals unique insights into the genomic losses and gains involved in achieving the structural and physiological adaptations required for its marine lifestyle, arguably the most severe habitat shift ever accomplished by flowering plants. Key angiosperm innovations that were lost include the entire repertoire of stomatal genes3, genes involved in the synthesis of terpenoids and ethylene signalling, and genes for ultraviolet protection and phytochromes for far-red sensing. Seagrasses have also regained functions enabling them to adjust to full salinity. Their cell walls contain all of the polysaccharides typical of land plants, but also contain polyanionic, low-methylated pectins and sulfated galactans, a feature shared with the cell walls of all macroalgae4 and that is important for ion homoeostasis, nutrient uptake and O2/CO2 exchange through leaf epidermal cells. The Z. marina genome resource will markedly advance a wide range of functional ecological studies from adaptation of marine ecosystems under climate warming5, 6, to unravelling the mechanisms of osmoregulation under high salinities that may further inform our understanding of the evolution of salt tolerance in crop plants7.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-335
Number of pages5
JournalNature
Volume530
Issue number7590
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 27 2016

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The genome of the seagrass Zostera marina reveals angiosperm adaptation to the sea'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this