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Curr Biol. 2016 Jan 11;26(1):93-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2015.11.042. Epub 2015 Dec 24.

RSL Class I Genes Controlled the Development of Epidermal Structures in the Common Ancestor of Land Plants.

Author information

1
Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3RB, UK.
2
Graduate School of Science, Kobe University, 1-1 Rokkodai, Nada-ku, Kobe 657-8501, Japan.
3
Graduate School of Biostudies, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.
4
Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3RB, UK. Electronic address: liam.dolan@plants.ox.ac.uk.

Abstract

The colonization of the land by plants, sometime before 470 million years ago, was accompanied by the evolution tissue systems [1-3]. Specialized structures with diverse functions-from nutrient acquisition to reproduction-derived from single cells in the outermost layer (epidermis) were important sources of morphological innovation at this time [2, 4, 5]. In extant plants, these structures may be unicellular extensions, such as root hairs or rhizoids [6-9], or multicellular structures, such as asexual propagules or secretory hairs (papillae) [10-12]. Here, we show that a ROOTHAIR DEFECTIVE SIX-LIKE (RSL) class I basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor positively regulates the development of the unicellular and multicellular structures that develop from individual cells that expand out of the epidermal plane of the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha; mutants that lack MpRSL1 function do not develop rhizoids, slime papillae, mucilage papillae, or gemmae. Furthermore, we discovered that RSL class I genes are also required for the development of multicellular axillary hairs on the gametophyte of the moss Physcomitrella patens. Because class I RSL proteins also control the development of rhizoids in mosses and root hairs in angiosperms [13, 14], these data demonstrate that the function of RSL class I genes was to control the development of structures derived from single epidermal cells in the common ancestor of the land plants. Class I RSL genes therefore controlled the generation of adaptive morphological diversity as plants colonized the land from the water.

PMID:
26725198
PMCID:
PMC4712171
DOI:
10.1016/j.cub.2015.11.042
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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