University of Cambridge > > Plant Sciences Departmental Seminars > The timing and nature of early land plant evolution

The timing and nature of early land plant evolution

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The origin of land plants was a formative episode in Earth history, forever changing biogeochemical cycles and creating habitats for animals. However, until recently, the timescale of early land plant evolution has been unclear because of our uncertain knowledge of the relationships between the fundamental lineages of land plants, itself impacting upon our perception of the ancestral land plant. Based on new data and methods it has been able to resolve that bryophytes and tracheophytes comprise the two fundamental lineages of land plants that diverged in the late Cambrian to early Ordovician and that none of the living bryophytes or tracheophytes are representative of the ancestral land plant in terms of their anatomy, physiology, genome or developmental biology. This challenges the selection of models for understanding the impact of land plants on the Earth system.

This talk is part of the Plant Sciences Departmental Seminars series.

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