close up of ferns

Evolution and Development in Lycophytes and Ferns

Barbara A. Ambrose and collaborators

Lycophytes and ferns are seedless vascular plants that occupy a key phylogenetic position in the plant tree of life. However, the molecular genetics of these organisms remain largely unknown. We are generating transcriptome data, performing developmental genetic analyses, and developing techniques to study gene function in each organism. We are focusing on the lycophyte, Selaginella apoda, and the fern, Marsilea quadrifolia to study gene function. In addition, we are investigating the evolution of leaves and reproductive structures across the lycophytes and ferns. This work is funded in part by the Eppley Foundation for Research and the Wallace Genetic Foundation.

More information:
Related project: Monographic and Phylogenetic Studies of Elaphoglossum (Dryopteridaceae)
Web site: Elaphoglossum Pages: Development
Journal article: Vasco A, Moran RC and Ambrose BA (2013) The evolution, morphology, and development of fern leaves. Front. Plant Sci. 4:345. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2013.00345


Family tree graph of Lycophytes

Tree showing relationships of ferns, lycophytes, and seed plants.