An enhancer trap system to track developmental dynamics in Marchantia polymorpha.
A combination of streamlined genetics, experimental tractability and relative morphological simplicity compared to vascular plants makes the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha an ideal model system for studying many aspects of plant biology. Here we describe a transformation vector combining a constitutive fluorescent membrane marker with a nuclear marker that is regulated by nearby enhancer elements and use this to produce a library of enhancer trap lines for Marchantia. Screening gemmae from these lines allowed the identification and characterization of novel marker lines, including markers for rhizoids and oil cells. The library allowed the identification of a margin tissue running around the thallus edge, highlighted during thallus development. The expression of this marker is correlated with auxin levels. We generated multiple markers for the meristematic apical notch region, which have different spatial expression patterns, reappear at different times during meristem regeneration following apical notch excision and have varying responses to auxin supplementation or inhibition. This reveals that there are proximodistal substructures within the apical notch that could not be observed otherwise. We employed our markers to study Marchantia sporeling development, observing meristem emergence as defining the protonema-to-prothallus stage transition, and subsequent production of margin tissue during the prothallus stage. Exogenous auxin treatment stalls meristem emergence at the protonema stage but does not inhibit cell division, resulting in callus-like sporelings with many rhizoids, whereas pharmacologically inhibiting auxin synthesis and transport does not prevent meristem emergence. This enhancer trap system presents a useful resource for the community and will contribute to future Marchantia research.
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/L014130/1)