Genes from bacteria may have helped plants colonise the land

When aquatic plants first transitioned onto land, their success may have been due to genes they got from bacteria and fungi that let them take up nutrients from soil

Life 1 March 2022

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Plants may have taken root on land thanks to genes from bacteria

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Around 500 million years ago, aquatic plants migrated from water to land, and they may have been able to do it with genes adopted from bacteria, fungi and viruses.

“The movement of green plants from water to land represents a major habitat transition, and plants have been intimately associated with bacteria and fungi,” says Jinling Huang at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.

This physical proximity is key, because it could allow a process called horizontal gene transfer …

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