Studying the evolution of sexual reproduction with the EVOREPRO gene expression database

Irene Julca, Camilla Ferrari, Maria Flores-Tornero, Sebastian Proost, Ann-Cathrin Lindner, Michael Borg, Tomas Honys, Frederic Berger, Thomas Dresselhaus, Stefanie Sprunck, Mark Johnson, David Twell, Joerg Becker, Marek Mutwil

Seed plants are our primary sources of food, fiber and other industrial raw materials. However, the supply of food, animal feed, and energy is becoming unsustainable due to human population expansion, competition for land use, rapid biodiversity loss and predicted global climate change. A better understanding of the molecular basis for the sexual reproduction in higher plants is needed to increase crop yields, overcome hybridization barriers and to select and fix quality traits. To achieve this, the EVOREPRO consortium was established, with the aim to generate gene expression atlases for major organs and reproductive cells for Physcomitrella patens, Marchantia polymorpha, basal angiosperm Amborella trichopoda, and flowering plants Arabidopsis thaliana, tomato, rice, and maize. To provide easy access to the expression data and the tools that allow comparative analyses, we demonstrate an online database, that will be available from We show how the comparison of the expression data reveals known, but also novel genes potentially important for organ development and sexual reproduction.

Presenting Author:  Marek Mutwil

Author Affiliation: School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore