The renaissance and enlightenment of Marchantia as a model system

John L. Bowman, Mario Arteaga-Vazquez, Frederic Berger, Liam N. Briginshaw, Philip Carella, Adolfo Aguilar-Cruz, Kevin M. Davies, Tom Dierschke, Liam Dolan, Ana E. Dorantes-Acosta, Tom J. Fisher, Eduardo Flores-Sandoval, Kazutaka Futagami, Kimitsune Ishizaki, Rubina Jibran, Takehiko Kanazawa, Hirotaka Kato, Takayuki Kohchi, Jonathan Levins, Shih Shun LinHirofumi Nakagami, Ryuichi Nishihama, Facundo Romani, Sebastian Schornack, Yasuhiro Tanizawa, Masayuki Tsuzuki, Takashi Ueda, Yuichiro Watanabe, Katsuyuki T. Yamato, Sabine Zachgo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The liverwort Marchantia polymorpha has been utilized as a model for biological studies since the 18th century. In the past few decades, there has been a Renaissance in its utilization in genomic and genetic approaches to investigating physiological, developmental, and evolutionary aspects of land plant biology. The reasons for its adoption are similar to those of other genetic models, e.g. simple cultivation, ready access via its worldwide distribution, ease of crossing, facile genetics, and more recently, efficient transformation, genome editing, and genomic resources. The haploid gametophyte dominant life cycle of M. polymorpha is conducive to forward genetic approaches. The lack of ancient whole-genome duplications within liverworts facilitates reverse genetic approaches, and possibly related to this genomic stability, liverworts possess sex chromosomes that evolved in the ancestral liverwort. As a representative of one of the three bryophyte lineages, its phylogenetic position allows comparative approaches to provide insights into ancestral land plants. Given the karyotype and genome stability within liverworts, the resources developed for M. polymorpha have facilitated the development of related species as models for biological processes lacking in M. polymorpha.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3512-3542
Number of pages31
JournalThe Plant Cell
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

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