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Development. 2010 Nov;137(21):3535-43. doi: 10.1242/dev.049023.

Evolutionary crossroads in developmental biology: Physcomitrella patens.

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  • 1Section of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California, San Diego, CA 92093-0116, USA.


The moss Physcomitrella patens has recently emerged as a powerful genetically tractable model plant system. As a member of the bryophytes, P. patens provides a unique opportunity to study the evolution of a myriad of plant traits, such as polarized cell growth, gametophyte-to-sporophyte transitions, and sperm-to-pollen transition. The availability of a complete genome sequence, together with the ability to perform gene targeting efficiently in P. patens has spurred a flurry of elegant reverse genetic studies in this plant model that address a variety of key questions in plant developmental biology.

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