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Plant Organogenesis

Volume 959 of the series Methods in Molecular Biology pp 97-125

Date:

Brown Algae as a Model for Plant Organogenesis

  • Kenny A. BogaertAffiliated withPhycology Research Group, Department of Biology, Center for Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, Ghent University
  • , Alok ArunAffiliated withCentre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Unité Mixte de Recherche 7139, Laboratoire International Associé Dispersal and Adaptation in Marine Species, Station Biologique de RoscoffLaboratoire International Associé Dispersal and Adaptation in Marine Species, CNRS, UMR 7139
  • , Susana M. CoelhoAffiliated withCentre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Unité Mixte de Recherche 7139, Laboratoire International Associé Dispersal and Adaptation in Marine Species, Station Biologique de RoscoffLaboratoire International Associé Dispersal and Adaptation in Marine Species, UMR 7139, Station Biologique de Roscoff
  • , Olivier De ClerckAffiliated withPhycology Research Group, Department of Biology, Center for Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, Ghent University Email author 

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Abstract

Brown algae are an extremely interesting, but surprisingly poorly explored, group of organisms. They are one of only five eukaryotic lineages to have independently evolved complex multicellularity, which they express through a wide variety of morphologies ranging from uniseriate branched filaments to complex parenchymatous thalli with multiple cell types. Despite their very distinct evolutionary history, brown algae and land plants share a striking amount of developmental features. This has led to an interest in several aspects of brown algal development, including embryogenesis, polarity, cell cycle, asymmetric cell division and a putative role for plant hormone signalling. This review describes how investigations using brown algal models have helped to increase our understanding of the processes controlling early embryo development, in particular polarization, axis formation and asymmetric cell division. Additionally, the diversity of life cycles in the brown lineage and the emergence of Ectocarpus as a powerful model organism, are affording interesting insights on the molecular mechanisms underlying haploid-diploid life cycles. The use of these and other emerging brown algal models will undoubtedly add to our knowledge on the mechanisms that regulate development in multicellular photosynthetic organisms.

Key words

Brown algae Development Polarization Asymmetric cell division Auxin Hormone Life cycle Cell cycle Fucus Ectocarpus