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An intracellular transcriptomic atlas of the giant coenocyte Caulerpa taxifolia.

Plants include both the green algae and land plants. Multiple times, root, stem and leaf-like structures arose independently in plant lineages. In some instances, such as the siphonous algae, these structures arose in the absence of multicellularity. The partitioning of gene transcripts within what is debatably the largest single-celled organism in the world, the siphonous alga Caulerpa taxifolia, is explored. The recurrent recruitment of transcripts to organs—in both a green alga and land plant—suggests land plant morphology is not as influenced by emergent cellular properties as organismal-level processes. Shown is the frond apex of C. taxifolia, producing young pinnule primordia. See Ranjan et al.

Image Credit: Daniel H. Chitwood, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America