Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Yoan Coudert won 3rd Prize in the University of Cambridge Research Image Competition

Branching moss.
Plant architecture diversification necessitated the evolution of branching mechanisms. The first land plants that appeared on earth about 450 million years ago were bryophyte‐like and had no branches but a single‐stemmed body. Mosses are the biggest group of extent bryophytes. The earliest branching plants were as tiny as mosses, exhibited a dichomomously branching stem but do not exist anymore except as fossils. The picture taken with a Nikon D80 camero and macro lens shows a natural variant of Bryum radiculosum with a branching shoot (left). Such variants represent a precious ressource to help us understanding how the switch from unbranched to branching growth happened several hundred millions years ago on earth. By reproducing artificially such developmental alterations in the lab, we aim at deciphering genetic alterations that have contributed to the earliest modifications of land plant architecture.

1 comment:

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