Plants constitute one of the major lineages of life and are the basis of almost all ecosystems, being an important source of food and oxygen. During evolution, all organisms gain new genes, lose old ones, or simply recycle genes.
The research team set out to understand which changes, at the genetic level, took place during the evolutionary transition of plants by comparing over 200 genomes, one of the largest datasets ever assembled to tackle the evolution of the plant kingdom.
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Using sophisticated computer techniques enabled the researchers to essentially travel back in time 470 million years ago to find out which genes were present in the first land-based plants as they evolved from living in water to land.
Dr Jordi Paps, Lecturer from Bristol's School of Biological Sciences and lead researcher, explained: "After comparing over 200 genomes of the plant kingdom,...
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