The liverwort Marchantia polymorpha, a model for all ages

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The liverwort Marchantia polymorpha has been known to man for millennia due to its inclusion Greek herbals. Perhaps due to its familiarity and association with growth in, often, man-made disturbed habitats, it was readily used to address fundamental biological questions of the day, including elucidation of land plant life cycles in the late 18th century, the formulation of cell theory early in the 19th century and the discovery of the alternation of generations in land plants in the mid-19th century. Subsequently, Marchantia was used as model in botany classes. With the arrival of the molecular era, its organellar genomes, the chloroplast and mitochondrial, were some of the first to be sequenced from any plant. In the past two decades, molecular genetic tools have been applied such that genes may be manipulated seemingly at will. Here, are past, present, and some views to the future of Marchantia as a model.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmerging Model Systems in Developmental Biology
EditorsBob Goldstein, Mansi Srivastava
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages32
ISBN (Print)9780128201541
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

Publication series

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


  • Alternation of generations
  • Land plant
  • Liverwort
  • Marchantia
  • Meristem

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