Evolution and co-option of developmental regulatory networks in early land plants

John L. Bowman, Liam N. Briginshaw, Stevie N. Florent

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Land plants evolved from an ancestral alga from which they inherited developmental and physiological characters. A key innovation of land plants is a life cycle with an alternation of generations, with both haploid gametophyte and diploid sporophyte generations having complex multicellular bodies. The origins of the developmental genetic programs patterning these bodies, whether inherited from an algal ancestor or evolved de novo, and whether programs were co-opted between generations, are largely open questions. We first provide a framework for land plant evolution and co-option of developmental regulatory pathways and then examine two cases in more detail.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCurrent Topics in Developmental Biology
EditorsPaul M Wassarman
Place of PublicationCambridge MA USA
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9780128098042
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameCurrent Topics in Developmental Biology
PublisherAcademic Press
ISSN (Print)0070-2153


  • Alternation of generations
  • Auxin
  • bHLH
  • Cryptospore
  • Rhizoid
  • Shoot apical meristem

Cite this