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Insights into the molecular evolution of fertilization mechanism in land plants


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Comparative genetics and genomics among green plants, including algae, provide deep insights into the evolution of land plant sexual reproduction.


Land plants have evolved successive changes during their conquest of the land and innovations in sexual reproduction have played a major role in their terrestrialization. Recent years have seen many revealing dissections of the molecular mechanisms of sexual reproduction and much new genomics data from the land plant lineage, including early diverging land plants, as well as algae. This new knowledge is being integrated to further understand how sexual reproduction in land plants evolved, identifying highly conserved factors and pathways, but also molecular changes that underpinned the emergence of new modes of sexual reproduction. Here, we review recent advances in the knowledge of land plant sexual reproduction from an evolutionary perspective and also revisit the evolution of angiosperm double fertilization.

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This work was supported by NSF Grant IOS-1928836 (to T.K.) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture, US Department of Agriculture Hatch Program Grant 1014280 (to T.K.).

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Correspondence to Tomokazu Kawashima.

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A contribution to the special issue ‘Evolution of Plant Reproduction’.

Communicated by Frederic Berger.

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Sharma, V., Clark, A.J. & Kawashima, T. Insights into the molecular evolution of fertilization mechanism in land plants. Plant Reprod 34, 353–364 (2021).

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  • Evolution
  • Sexual reproduction
  • Angiosperms
  • Land plants
  • Sperm morphogenesis