SURF

Jared Nathanson

Understanding the Evolution of EMF2 in Bryophytes

All land plants undergo an alternation of generations. This alternation occurs between a haploid gametophyte and a diploid sporophyte. In the early-diverging lineages of land plants, such as liverworts, hornworts, and mosses, the haploid gametophyte is dominant in the life cycle. However, in later-diverging lineages, such as gymnosperms and angiosperms, the diploid sporophyte is dominant while the haploid gametophyte is transient. It is possible that this evolution of sporophyte dominance may have been caused by a delay in Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2)-triggered meiosis in the sporophyte generation. PRC2 functions in the trimethylation of lysine 27 on histone 3, a mark usually associated with gene silencing. By investigating the PcG gene EMBRYONIC FLOWER2 (EMF2) in bryophytes, I plan to better understand how the EMF2 gene evolved in early-diverging land plants.

Message to Sponsor

Although I plan on attending medical school, plant biology has always been a fascinating subject to learn about in my past three years at UC Berkeley. SURF/Rose Hills provides an incredible opportunity to expand on my appreciation for the field of research in addition to my understanding of these biological systems. To be offered a position to pursue my interests for the entire summer is truly an honor.
  • Major: Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Sponsor: Rose Hills Foundation
  • Mentor: Chelsea Specht