When mothers shut down the fathers’ genes in the embryo

In humans, and many other species, both genes inherited from the mother and from the father influence how embryos develop. In the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha, however, the mother has total control, as researchers from the Berger lab at GMI now uncovered. In a study published in eLife, the researchers show that the “mother plant“ has total control and completely inactivates the paternal genes in its embryos to ensure they develop properly.

Illustration: ©GMI/floorfour.

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