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Brown algae as a model for plant organogenesis

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Bogaert, K., Arun, A., Coelho, S., & De Clerck, O. (2013). Brown algae as a model for plant organogenesis. In I. De Smet (Ed.), Plant Organogenesis: Methods and Protocols (pp. 97-125). Totowa, NJ, USA: Humana Press.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000C-7C33-0
Brown algae are an extremely interesting, but surprisingly poorly explored, group of organisms. They are one of only five eukaryotic lineages to have independently evolved complex multicellularity, which they express through a wide variety of morphologies ranging from uniseriate branched filaments to complex parenchymatous thalli with multiple cell types. Despite their very distinct evolutionary history, brown algae and land plants share a striking amount of developmental features. This has led to an interest in several aspects of brown algal development, including embryogenesis, polarity, cell cycle, asymmetric cell division and a putative role for plant hormone signalling. This review describes how investigations using brown algal models have helped to increase our understanding of the processes controlling early embryo development, in particular polarization, axis formation and asymmetric cell division. Additionally, the diversity of life cycles in the brown lineage and the emergence of Ectocarpus as a powerful model organism, are affording interesting insights on the molecular mechanisms underlying haploid-diploid life cycles. The use of these and other emerging brown algal models will undoubtedly add to our knowledge on the mechanisms that regulate development in multicellular photosynthetic organisms.