Marchantia shares the major genetic systems of higher plants. As part of the OpenPlant initiative, we have created foundational tools for systematic modification of the genome.
Marchantia has a genome of around 280 Mbp with around 19,000 encoded genes. Many families of regulatory genes are found with highly reduced numbers, compared to higher plants.
We have established MarpoDB, an open source database that presents the Marchantia genome from an engineer’s perspective, rather than a geneticist’s. It handles the Marchantia genome as a collection of parts, useful for automatically mining new parts, and managing part characterisation.
With support from the international plant science community, we have established a common genetic syntax for the exchange of DNA parts for plants, extensible to all eukaryotes.
We have devised a new method for gene assembly based on recursive use of two Type IIS restriction endonuceases. Loop Assembly allows rapid and efficient production of large DNA constructs, is compatible with widely used Level zero (L0) DNA parts such as Phytobricks, and can be easily automated.
We have built synthetic core promoters for the 400 genes encoding transcription factors in Marchantia, and created novel marker systems.
We have collaborated with the Biobricks Foundation to create an Open Materials Transfer Agreement (OpenMTA). This is a simple, standardized legal tool that enables individuals and organizations to share their materials and associated data on an open basis. The primary purpose of the OpenMTA is to reduce transaction costs associated with exchange of materials and promote access for researchers in less privileged institutionsand world regions.