We are delighted to welcome you to the 65th NIBB Conference/International Marchantia Workshop 2017 in Okazaki.
This October, the genome of the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha was finally published by a multinational collaboration. Land plants evolved from an ancestral charophycean alga about 470 million years ago and flourished on land by innovating mechanisms to adapt to the terrestrial environment. The history of life is recorded in the genomes, and their sequences are extremely rich in biological information. Beginning with the completion of the Arabidopsis genome sequencing project in 2000, genomes of various plants have been sequenced thus far: many flowering plants, the lycophyte Selaginella moellendorffii, the moss Physcomitrella patens, the charophyte Klebsormidium nitens, and the chlorophyte Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Thanks to the efforts of a lot of people from many countries worldwide, Marchantia was finally added to the list. Although Marchantia is a relatively late comer to the genome club, Marchantia has become a key model plant due to its basal phylogenetic position and well-developed molecular genetic tools. We organized this conference to celebrate the completion of the Marchantia genome project, to share the latest findings, and to discuss future directions of research with all biologists who are interested in the evolutionary paths that plants followed.
We hope you enjoy this exciting 3-day experience in Okazaki.
Takayuki Kohchi, Takashi Ueda and John L. Bowman
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