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Ferns Borrowed Genes To Help Them Flourish In Low Light

Ferns Borrowed Genes To Help Them Flourish In Low Light

Erin Weeks, Duke University Bumping sex cells with the hornworts may have done it During the age of the dinosaurs, the arrival of flowering plants as competitors could have spelled doom for the ancient fern lineage. Instead, ferns...

Latest Embryophyte Stories

2013-12-22 12:20:10

Researchers Create Largest Evolutionary 'Timetree' of Land Plants; Results Published in Nature WASHINGTON, Dec. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A team of researchers studying plants has assembled the largest dated evolutionary tree, using it to show the order in which flowering plants evolved specific strategies, such as the seasonal shedding of leaves, to move into areas with cold winters. The results will be published Dec. 22 in the journal Nature. Early flowering plants are thought to...

Plants Reawaken After 400 Years Buried Under Canadian Glacier
2013-05-28 07:34:41

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A Canadian scientist has discovered that certain once-frozen plants have the ability to reawaken after long periods of dormancy, sprouting back to life. The finding came while Catherine La Farge, a researcher with University of Alberta´s Faculty of Science, was observing ancient plants known as bryophytes in the Canadian tundra. Recently exposed terrain left behind by receding glaciers has revealed a startling awakening of...

2011-04-18 13:56:57

It was previously thought that land plants evolved from stonewort-like algae. However, new research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology shows that the closest relatives to land plants are actually conjugating green algae such as Spirogyra. Ancestors of green plants began to colonise the land about 500 million years ago and it is generally accepted that they evolved from streptophyte algae (a group of green, fresh water algae). But this group of algae is...

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2010-09-15 10:06:14

A modest moss gives insight into global carbon cycling The diversity of life that can be seen in environments ranging from the rainforests of the Amazon to the spring blooms of the Mohave Desert is awe-inspiring. But this diversity would not be possible if the ancestors of modern plants had just stayed in the water with their green algal cousins. Moving onto dry land required major lifestyle changes to adapt to this new "hostile" environment, and in turn helped change global climate and...

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2010-05-05 11:34:18

DNA testing of garden ferns sold at plant nurseries in North Carolina, Texas, and California has found that plants marketed as American natives may actually be exotic species from other parts of the globe. The finding relied on a new technique called "DNA barcoding" that uses small snippets of DNA to distinguish between species, in much the same way that a supermarket scanner uses the black lines in a barcode to identify cans of soup or boxes of cereal. A team of North Carolina researchers...

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2010-02-04 14:36:12

Molecular biology of drought tolerance comes into focus Recent work at Washington University in St. Louis sheds light on one of the most important events in earth-history, the conquest of land by plants 480 million years ago. No would-be colonizer could have survived on dry land without the ability to deal with dehydration, a major threat for organisms accustomed to soaking in water. Clues to how the first land plants managed to avoid drying out might be provided by bryophytes, a group that...

2009-12-01 13:15:42

Superior 'leaf plumbing' gave flowering plants evolutionary advantage To Charles Darwin it was an 'abominable mystery' and it is a question which has continued to vex evolutionists to this day: when did flowering plants evolve and how did they come to dominate plant life on earth? Today a study in Ecology Letters reveals the evolutionary trigger which led to early flowering plants gaining a major competitive advantage over rival species, leading to their subsequent boom and abundance. The...

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2009-01-27 11:57:05

Land plants' ability to sprout upward through the air, unsupported except by their own woody tissues, has long been considered one of the characteristics separating them from aquatic plants, which rely on water to support them. Now lignin, one of the chemical underpinnings vital to the self-supporting nature of land plants "“ and thought unique to them "“ has been found in marine algae by a team of researchers including scientists at UBC and Stanford University. Lignin, a...