The biology of Marchantia polymorpha and related liverworts has fascinated botanists for centuries, providing a rich literature describing both phenomenology and pharmacological experiments. With the advent of Marchantia as a model genetic system, we are now in a position to begin to elucidate the molecular genetic mechanisms by which its architecture, development and growth is regulated. We are tracing the evolutionary history of genetic programs for dormancy regulation initially identified in seed plants by examining them functionally in Marchantia. We are also screening for novel dormancy regulators. Dormancy was a key adaption to facilitate survival in terrestrial environments, enabling seasonal growth. Understanding dormancy regulation in liverworts will aid efforts to decipher the evolution of dormancy leading to the adapted forms seen in flowering plants. Marchantia is emerging as a powerful model species. This unique plant appears to possess attributes retained from the earliest land plants, it has low genetic redundancy, and many molecular tools are available, including a sequenced genome.
In the long term, this project poses two interrelated questions: 1) how similar are the genetic programs for developmental processes in evolutionarily distant plants, and 2) how can we exploit the simplicity of the Marchantia model system to help decipher the complexity of flowering plants? We are studying the differences and similarities in dormancy regulation between the liverwort Marchantia and seed plants such as Arabidopsis. This involves examination of genetic and hormonal pathways for phytohormones such as auxin and abscisic acid, and will lay a foundation for the discovery of previously uncharacterized evolutionarily conserved components regulating plant development.
This project is a collaboration with prof. Ulf Lagercrantz, Dept. of Ecology and Genetics, Uppsala University. For more information see our recent publication Early evolution of the land plant circadian clock, Linde et al., 2017, New Phytologist.
Bowman JL, Kohchi T, Yamato KT, Jenkins J, Shu S, Ishizaki K, Yamaoka S, Nishihama R, Nakamura Y, Berger F, Adam C, Aki SS, Althoff F, Araki T, Arteaga-Vazquez MA, Balasubrmanian S, Barry K, Bauer D, Boehm CR, Briginshaw L, Caballero-Perez J, Catarino B, Chen F, Chiyoda S, Chovatia M, Davies KM, Delmans M, Demura T, Dierschke T, Dolan L, Dorantes-Acosta AE, Eklund DM, Florent SN, Flores-Sandoval E, Fujiyama A, Fukuzawa H, Galik B, Grimanelli D, Grimwood J, Grossniklaus U, Hamada T, Haseloff J, Hetherington AJ, Higo A, Hirakawa Y, Hundley HN, Ikeda Y, Inoue K, Inoue SI, Ishida S, Jia Q, Kakita M, Kanazawa T, Kawai Y, Kawashima T, Kennedy M, Kinose K, Kinoshita T, Kohara Y, Koide E, Komatsu K, Kopischke S, Kubo M, Kyozuka J, Lagercrantz U, Lin SS, Lindquist E, Lipzen AM, Lu CW, De Luna E, Martienssen RA, Minamino N, Mizutani M, Mizutani M, Mochizuki N, Monte I, Mosher R, Nagasaki H, Nakagami H, Naramoto S, Nishitani K, Ohtani M, Okamoto T, Okumura M, Phillips J, Pollak B, Reinders A, Rövekamp M, Sano R, Sawa S, Schmid MW, Shirakawa M, Solano R, Spunde A, Suetsugu N, Sugano S, Sugiyama A, Sun R, Suzuki Y, Takenaka M, Takezawa D, Tomogane H, Tsuzuki M, Ueda T, Umeda M, Ward JM, Watanabe Y, Yazaki K, Yokoyama R, Yoshitake Y, Yotsui I, Zachgo S, Schmutz J. 2017. Insights into land plant evolution garnered from the Marchantia polymorpha genome. Cell 171: 287-304. Cell “preview”.
Linde A-M*, Eklund DM*, Kubota A*, Pederson ERA, Holm K, Gyllenstrand N, Nishihama R, Cronberg N, Muranaka T, Oyama T, Kohchi T, Lagercrantz U. 2017. Early evolution of the land plant circadian clock. New Phytologist 216: 576-590. * Equal contribution
Eklund DM, Ishizaki K, Flores-Sandoval E, Kikuchi S, Takebayashi Y, Tsukamoto S, Hirakawa Y, Kato H, Kouno M, Bhalerao R, Lagercrantz U, Kasahara H, Kohchi T, Bowman JL. 2015. Auxin produced by the indole-3-pyruvic acid pathway regulates development and gemmae dormancy in the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha. Plant Cell 27(6):1650-69. Plant Cell “in brief”.
Flores-Sandoval E, Eklund DM and Bowman JL. 2015. A simple auxin transcriptional response system regulates multiple morphogenetic processes in the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha. PLOS Genetics 11(5): 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005207.