Rhynie chert fossils demonstrate the independent origin and gradual evolution of lycophyte roots.

  title={Rhynie chert fossils demonstrate the independent origin and gradual evolution of lycophyte roots.},
  author={Alexander J. Hetherington and Liam Dolan},
  journal={Current opinion in plant biology},

Root apical meristem diversity and the origin of roots: insights from extant lycophytes

Results support the paleobotanical predictions that roots evolved several times in lycophytes, as well as in euphyllophytes and discuss the origin of roots in vascular plants.

Lycopodium root meristem dynamics support homology between shoots and roots in lycophytes.

Striking similarities in meristem dynamics provide new neobotanical data that support the shoot-origin hypothesis of lycophyte roots, which suggests that Lycopodium roots may have originated from subterranean shoots of Devonian Lycophytes, and these shoots may have changed into root-bearing axes in other extant lyCophyte lineages.

Shared body plans of lycophytes inferred from root formation of Lycopodium clavatum

The root-initiating position supports the suggestion that Lycopodium roots share a body plan with the subterranean organs of the hypothesized ancestry, and root primordia are formed endogenously on the ventral side of stem, possibly from the vents of ventral tissue.

Early “Rootprints” of Plant Terrestrialization: Selaginella Root Development Sheds Light on Root Evolution in Vascular Plants

An overview of the current knowledge on root evolution followed by a survey of root developmental events and how these are genetically and hormonally controlled, starting from insights obtained in the model seed plant Arabidopsis and where possible making a comparison with lycophyte root development.

An evidence-based 3D reconstruction of Asteroxylon mackiei, the most complex plant preserved from the Rhynie chert

The first complete reconstruction of the lycopsid Asteroxylon mackiei, the most complex plant in the Rhynie chert, is produced, revealing the organisation of the three distinct axes types – leafy shoot axes, root-bearing axes and rooting axes – in the body plan.

The origin and evolution of stomata

An early Devonian flora from the Baviaanskloof Formation (Table Mountain Group) of South Africa

This flora is furthermore remarkable for the large number of complete or sub-complete specimens allowing good understanding of earliest plant architecture, which represents the oldest known from Africa.

Expression atlas of Selaginella moellendorffii provides insights into the evolution of vasculature, secondary metabolism and roots

A gene expression atlas comprising all major organs, tissue types, and the diurnal gene expression profiles for Selaginella moellendorffii is presented and it is demonstrated how secondary metabolism is transcriptionally coordinated and integrated with other cellular pathways.

Plant hydraulic architecture through time: lessons and questions on the evolution of vascular systems

Accumulating evidence suggests that this taxonomic breadth of wood production reflects mosaic deployment of basic developmental mechanisms, some of which are derived by common ancestry.

How plants conquered land: evolution of terrestrial adaptation

The transition of plants from water to land is considered one of the most significant events in the evolution of life on Earth. The colonization of land by plants, accompanied by their morphological,



The Origin and Early Evolution of Roots1

Remarkably well-preserved fossils prove that mycorrhizal symbionts were diverse in simple rhizoid-based systems and the broader impact of root evolution on the geochemical carbon cycle is a developing area and one in which the interests of the plant physiologist intersect with those of the geochemist.

The first zosterophyll from the Lower Devonian Rhynie Chert, Aberdeenshire

  • A. G. LyonD. Edwards
  • Environmental Science
    Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh: Earth Sciences
  • 1991
Fragmentary remains of a vascular sporophyte from the Rhynie Chert are described as a new genus and species, Trichopherophyton teuchansii, which is assigned to the Zosterophyllophytina, but lack of information on the arrangement of sporangia prevents its more precise positioning within the subdivision.

The evolution of lycopsid rooting structures: conservatism and disparity.

It is suggested that the evolution of lycopsid rooting structures displays two contrasting patterns - conservatism and disparity, which is an example of remarkable conservatism.

Roots: evolutionary origins and biogeochemical significance.

Finer structures involved in the uptake of nutrients of low diffusivity in soil evolved at least 400 million years ago as arbuscular mycorrhizas or as evaginations of "roots" ("root hairs").

Origin and Radiation of the Earliest Vascular Land Plants

A diverse trilete spore occurrence from the Late Ordovician is obtained that suggests that vascular plants originated and diversified earlier than previously hypothesized, in Gondwana, before migrating elsewhere and secondarily diversifying.

Stepwise and independent origins of roots among land plants

Meristems of the rooting axes of Asteroxylon mackiei preserved in 407-million-year-old Rhynie chert lack root caps, which demonstrates that the evolution of the root systems of modern vascular plants occurred in a stepwise fashion.

A new vascular plant from the Lower Devonian Windyfield chert, Rhynie, NE Scotland

Two plants are described from fragmentary remains preserved in the Windyfield chert, situated c.


  • J. Doyle
  • Environmental Science, Biology
  • 2012
The origin of the angiosperm flower remains unresolved, but bitegmic ovules may be derived from cupules, and the ancestral carpel can be reconstructed as ascidiate.

The evolution of plant development in a paleontological context.

  • C. Boyce
  • Environmental Science, Geology
    Current opinion in plant biology
  • 2010

Organs and tissues of Rhynie chert plants

  • H. Kerp
  • Environmental Science
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2017
The Early Devonian Rhynie chert and the nearby Windyfield chert contain the oldest in situ preserved terrestrial ecosystem. Two of the seven species of anatomically preserved land plants had naked