EVOGENE seminar: Reidunn Aalen
Peptide Signaling and the Evolution of Land Plants
Land plants have evolved from a class of unicellular freshwater green algae that started to colonize land ~ 470 million years ago (Mya). This successful evolution has required groundbreaking biological innovations, like the transition from haploid unicellular species to diploids with multicellular meristems, and development of new specialized organs like vasculature, roots, shoots and seeds. In flowering plants, small peptides signaling through leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinases are crucial for these processes. Evolution of novel cell types, tissue types, and organs with increasing multicellular complexity, must have put a high demand on cell-to-cell communication in land plants. Recent advances in whole genome sequencing have allowed us to search for putative orthologues of angiosperm signaling peptides and their receptors, and to elucidate their evolutionary history and importance. Our findings (soon to be submitted) will be presented in this talk.