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Key Land Plant Innovations in Bryophytes

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Dr Silvia Pressel FLS will speak on current hypotheses on the origin and evolution of key land plant innovations focussing on bryophytes

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Bryophytes (mosses, liverworts and hornworts) occupy a key evolutionary position, being widely regarded as the closest extant relatives of the first land plants. However, their order of divergence and whether or not they constitute a monophyletic group have been hotly debated for over half a century. The latest molecular evidence now provides support for a mosses-liverworts clade, with the position of hornworts remaining uncertain and monophyly gaining renewed support. In this talk we will discuss how current hypotheses on the origin and evolution of key land plant innovations fit into these emerging evolutionary scenarios, focusing on bryophyte mycorrhizal-like associations and the stomatal apparatus. Picture credit: Silvia Pressel

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