About this Research Topic
The recently sequenced Selaginella moellendorffii (Selaginella) nuclear genome is only the second sequenced genome of a non-angiosperm plant, and the first of a seedless vascular plant. As such it has the potential to provide critical information about the evolution of land plant genes and genomes as well as about the evolution of land plant reproduction, morphology, physiology, biochemistry, and other features. Selaginella is a lycophyte; this lineage branched off from the lineage leading to flowering plants ca 400 million years ago. During the long period of time since this divergence, lycophytes and other vascular plants evolved independently, and important differences arose. For example, while lycophytes retain swimming sperm, flowering plants evolved pollen tubes that brings the sperm cell to the egg cell. Many other aspects of physiology and development differ as well.
The sequence of the Selaginella genome contains rich information that could not be described in a single paper. In addition, other research in Selaginella provides important complementary information to that found in the genome sequence. We therefore welcome submission of articles describing research using Selaginella, including Reviews, Mini-Reviews, Book Reviews, Commentaries, Perspectives, or other article types. We welcome articles on subjects including comparative genomics, genome evolution, and functional genomics, as well as analyses of specific gene families or genes in specific pathways and utilization of genomic data in population genetics and phylogenetics studies. We also welcome papers on Selaginella reproduction, life history, morphology, or other features that relate to the unique features and important evolutionary position of this key plant group. The goal of this issue is to bring the importance of Selaginella and the variety of research currently underway into focus for the plant sciences community.