Between Two Fern Genomes

Emily B. Sessa, Jo A. Banks, Michael S. Barker, Joshua P. Der, Aaron M. Duffy, Sean W. Graham, Mitsuyasu Hasebe, Jane Langdale, Fay Wei Li, D. B. Marchant, Kathleen M. Pryer, Carl J. Rothfels, Stanley J. Roux, Mari L. Salmi, Erin M. Sigel, Douglas E. Soltis, Pamela S. Soltis, Dennis W. Stevenson, Paul G. Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ferns are the only major lineage of vascular plants not represented by a sequenced nuclear genome. This lack of genome sequence information significantly impedes our ability to understand and reconstruct genome evolution not only in ferns, but across all land plants. Azolla and Ceratopteris are ideal and complementary candidates to be the first ferns to have their nuclear genomes sequenced. They differ dramatically in genome size, life history, and habit, and thus represent the immense diversity of extant ferns. Together, this pair of genomes will facilitate myriad large-scale comparative analyses across ferns and all land plants. Here we review the unique biological characteristics of ferns and describe a number of outstanding questions in plant biology that will benefit from the addition of ferns to the set of taxa with sequenced nuclear genomes. We explain why the fern clade is pivotal for understanding genome evolution across land plants, and we provide a rationale for how knowledge of fern genomes will enable progress in research beyond the ferns themselves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number15
JournalGigaScience
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 25 2014

Keywords

  • Azolla
  • Ceratopteris
  • Comparative analyses
  • Ferns
  • Genomics
  • Land plants
  • Monilophytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Health Informatics

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