Now that we are studying plants in class, and learning about different adaptations and some of the evolution of plants I thought this study would be interesting to look at.

The sequencing of the genome of a plant known as spikemoss, may give scientists a better understanding of how all kinds of plants evolved over the past 500 million years! This is the first sequencing for a non-seed vascular plant. Selaginella has been on this earth for about 200 million years and is a lycophyte

I was surprised that the Selaginella genome has about 22,300 genes and that’s small according professor Jody Banks. Selaginella is the only known plan to not have experienced a polyploidy event and is also missing the genes known in other plants to control flowing and becoming and adult. These genes are unknown in the Selaginella, but the genome would help scientists understand how these plants genes give the plant some unique characteristics and also help understand how Selaginella and other plants are evolutionarily connected.

The genome sequence was compared with others, and researchers identified genes that are present only in vascular and flowering plants. These genes that were identified most likely played important roles in the early evolution of vascular and flowering plants. Many of these genes have unknown functions, but it is likely that those genes that were identified may function in the development of fruits and seeds. Banks said: “[having an idea of what the function of the genes is] gives us ideas. It’s an important piece of the puzzle in understanding how plants evolved.” Also there are metabolic genes that evolved independently in Selaginella and flowering plant, which means Selaginella, could be a huge resource for new pharmaceuticals. The Selaginella is defiantly an interesting and great plant to study.

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