Evolutionary Genomics: The Origin and Diversification of Plants

  • Thu 27 Feb 20

    13:00 - 14:00

  • Colchester Campus

    STEM 3.1

  • Event speaker

    Alexander Bowles

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars

  • Event organiser

    Life Sciences, School of

  • Contact details

    Dr Patrick Varga-Weisz

500 million years ago, one of the key events in Earth history occurred, the first plants moved out of water and onto land.

Since that point, the diversification of land plants has been driven by the evolution of key innovations (e.g. roots, seeds, flowers). Identifying the genomic changes that have accompanied the origin of distinct plant groups is key to unravelling the molecular basis of biological innovations.

To gain a better understanding of the factors that have enabled plant diversification, we compared 208 genomes from across the tree of life. Our analyses revealed that there are two burst of new genes, one predating and the other accompanying the transition of plants from water to land.

Our findings help us understand the influence of genomic innovations on plant diversification.


Alexander Bowles is a Postgraduate Research Student in the School of Life Sciences.

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