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Bacteria Helped Plants Evolve to Live on Land

The first plants to come up with ways to live on land accomplished that feat some 470 million years ago.

But how did they make the jump from water to terra firma?

Looks like they might have had helpfrom bacteria.

To better understand the evolution of land plants, researchers looked at the DNA of two species of algae.

Why algae?

Well, because land plants evolved from this green goo.

For their study, the team focused on a group of algae known to be the closest living relatives of land plants.

The scientists compared the genomes of the two algae species to both land plants and other types of algae.

The goal: to locate any important genetic sequence similarities.

And the researchers actually discovered some significant matches between both of the two algae species and land plantsfor example, a gene family called GRAS. "And we were curious where this particular family came from, because it had already been studied before and was known to be important in handling desiccation or dry conditions."Gane Wong, a professor in biological sciences at the University of Alberta, one of the study leaders.

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