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Nedelcu AM , Borza T, Lee RW. A land plant-specific multigene family in the unicellular Mesostigma argues for its close relationship to Streptophyta. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 23(5) , pp. 1011-1015, 2006.

Abstract: The search for the unicellular relative of Streptophyta (i.e., land plants and their closest green algal relatives, the charophytes)started many years ago and remained centered around the scaly green flagellate, Mesostigma viride. To date, despite numerous studies, the phylogenetic position of Mesostigma is still debated and the nature of the unicellular ancestor of Streptophyta remains unknown. As molecular phylogenetic studies have produced conflicting results, we constructed a M. viride expressed sequence tags library and searched for sequences that are shared between M. viride and the Streptophyta (to the exclusion of the other green algal lineages—the Chlorophyta). Here, we report a multigene family that is restricted to Streptophyta and M. viride. The phylogenetic distribution of this complex character and its potential involvement in the evolution of an important land plant adaptive trait (i.e., three-dimensional tissues) argue that Mesostigma is a close unicellular relative of Streptophyta.

Keywords: Mesostigma viride, land plant evolution, Streptophyta, meristem, gene family

Posted by Tudor Borza

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