Title

The Selaginella Genome Identifies Genetic Changes Associated with the Evolution of Vascular Plants

Document Type

Article

Department/Program

Biology

Journal Title

Science

Pub Date

2011

Volume

332

Issue

6032

First Page

960

Abstract

Vascular plants appeared similar to 410 million years ago, then diverged into several lineages of which only two survive: the euphyllophytes (ferns and seed plants) and the lycophytes. We report here the genome sequence of the lycophyte Selaginella moellendorffii (Selaginella), the first nonseed vascular plant genome reported. By comparing gene content in evolutionarily diverse taxa, we found that the transition from a gametophyte- to a sporophyte-dominated life cycle required far fewer new genes than the transition from a nonseed vascular to a flowering plant, whereas secondary metabolic genes expanded extensively and in parallel in the lycophyte and angiosperm lineages. Selaginella differs in posttranscriptional gene regulation, including small RNA regulation of repetitive elements, an absence of the trans-acting small interfering RNA pathway, and extensive RNA editing of organellar genes.

DOI

10.1126/science.1203810

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