A novel BZR/BES transcription factor controls the development of haploid reproductive organs in Marchantia polymorpha

Gametogenesis is essential for sexual reproduction. In bryophytes, lycophytes, and ferns, gametogenesis takes place in gametangia: antheridia for sperm production and archegonia for egg production. How these specialized reproductive organs develop at the molecular level remains unclear. Furuya et al. identified a unique BZR/BES transcription factor, MpBZR3, that regulates gametangium development in Marchantia polymorpha. Overexpression of MpBZR3 caused unusual gametangia growth. MpBZR3 is essential for the proper development of both types of gametangia and acts differently in male and female plants. In male plants it supports early antheridia development and in female plants is supports later archegonia development. This specialization of MpBZR3 may have contributed to the evolution of plant reproductive systems. (Summary by Yueh Cho @YuehCho1984) Nature Plant. 10.1038/s41477-024-01669-0