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Plant J. 2012 Dec;72(6):947-59. doi: 10.1111/tpj.12005. Epub 2012 Oct 18.

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

Author information

1
Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3RB, UKPlant Ecophysiology, Institute of Environmental Biology, Utrecht University, Padualaan 8, 3584 CH Utrecht, The Netherlands.

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.

KEYWORDS:

Physcomitrella patens; ethylene; evolution; phytohormones; submergence; water relations

PMID:
23046428
DOI:
10.1111/tpj.12005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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