Land Plants Evolved 100 Million Years Earlier than ThoughtFebruary 28, 2018
The oldest fossils of land plants are 420 million years old, but a recent study showed that pond scum first made landfall approximately 100 million years earlier.
Scientists have used plant genetic data at "molecular clocks" to estimate how long ago various species split based upon their differences in DNA—to figure out their evolutionary history. However, they were unable to identify the lowest, or earliest, branches of the plant family tree. Vascular plants such as trees, crops, and flowers have been known to come along sometime after liverworts, hornworts, and mosses. However, the order in which of these three appeared remained a history, making the molecular clock studies with missing puzzle pieces.
In the study conducted by Philip Donoghue from University of Bristol and other researchers, it was concluded that the exact configuration of the base of the plant family tree doesn't matter to dating the first land plants. All the analyses indicate that land plants first appeared about 500 million years ago, during the Cambrian period, when the development of multicellular animal species took off. The study showed that the first land plants arose earlier than we thought, regardless of current uncertainties about which land plants evolved first. This finding has important global implications, because we know early plants cooled the climate and increased the oxygen level in the Earth's atmosphere," conditions that supported the expansion of terrestrial animal life, says Tim Lenton, an earth system scientist at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom who was not involved with the work.
Read the original articles from Science and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
The Crop Biotech Update is a weekly newsletter of ISAAA, a not-for-profit organization. The CBU is distributed for free to over 23,000 subscribers worldwide to inform them about the key developments in biosciences, especially in agricultural biotechnology. Your support will help us in our mission to feed the world with knowledge. You can help by donating as little as $10.
See more articles:
News from Around the World
- WEMA Gives Hope for Farmers Battling Armyworm in Kenya
- Ghana CSIR Affirms Safety of GM Crops
- Research Reveals New Approach to Improve Nitrogen Use, Enhance Yield, and Promote Flowering in Rice
- Researchers Monitor Photosynthesis in Soybean Using Invisible Light
- Scientists Discover Secret of How to Triple Number of Sorghum Grains
- India Launches Massive Pink Bollworm Awareness Campaign
- Increasing Sugar Yield and Biomass Production in Arabidopsis Discovered by VIB Scientists
- Land Plants Evolved 100 Million Years Earlier than Thought
- Study Shows How Plants Use 'Baits' to Trap Pathogens
- RNAi-mediated Knockdown of GmFAD2-1B Improves Oil Quality in Soybean
- Rice Gene Confers Citrus Canker Resistance to Transgenic Mandarin
Plant Breeding Innovations
- CRISPR-Cas9 Used in Reverse Genetics Studies of Parasponia
- lncRNA1459 Knock-out Alters Tomato Fruit Ripening
- Researchers Apply CRISPR-Cas9 on Cacao Leaves
- Transgenerational CRISPR-Cas9 Induces Multiplex Gene Editing in Wheat
Beyond Crop Biotech
- Researchers Unlock Genetic Code of the Brightest and Most Vibrant Colors in Nature
- BIO Asia International Conference
- Plants, Genes, and Agriculture Book
Read the latest:
- Crop Biotech Update (November 23, 2022)
- Genome Editing Supplement (November 23, 2022)
- Gene Drive Supplement (October 26, 2022)
Subscribe to CBU: