Plants synthesize gibberellin (GA), a diterpenoid hormone, via ent-kaurenoic acid (KA) oxidation. GA has not been detected in the moss Physcomitrium patens despite its ability to synthesize KA. It was recently shown that a KA metabolite, 3OH-KA, was identified as an active regulator of protonema differentiation in P. patens. An inactive KA metabolite, 2OH-KA, was also identified in the moss, as was KA2ox, which is responsible for converting KA to 2OH-KA. In this review, we mainly discuss the GA biosynthetic gene homologs identified and characterized in bryophytes. We show the similarities and differences between the OH-KA control of moss and GA control of flowering plants. We also discuss using recent genomic studies; mosses do not contain KAO, even though other bryophytes do. This absence of KAO in mosses corresponds to the presence of KA2ox, which is absent in other vascular plants. Thus, given that 2OH-KA and 3OH-KA were isolated from ferns and flowering plants, respectively, vascular plants may have evolved from ancestral bryophytes that originally produced 3OH-KA and GA.
ASJC Scopus subject areas