Why Plants Were Terrestrial from the Beginning

Jesper Harholt, Øjvind Moestrup, Peter Ulvskov
Trends in Plant Science 2016, 21 (2): 96-101
The current hypothesis is that land plants originated from a charophycean green alga and that a prominent feature for adaptation to land was their development of alternating life cycles. Our work on cell wall evolution and morphological and physiological observations in the charophycean green algae challenged us to reassess how land plants became terrestrial. Our hypothesis is simple in that the charophycean green algae ancestors were already living on land and had been doing so for some time before the emergence of land plants. The evolution of alternate life cycles merely made the ancestral land plants evolutionary successful and had nothing to do with terrestrialization per se.


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