The potential of moss as a model system to study plant biology is associated with their relatively simple developmental pattern that nevertheless resembles the basic organization of the body plan of land plants, the direct access to cell-lineage analysis, their similar responses to plant growth factors and environmental stimuli as those observed in other land plants, and the dominance of the gametophyte in the life cycle that facilitates genetic approaches. Transformation studies in the moss have revealed a totally unique feature for plants, i.e., that foreign DNA sequences integrate in the genome preferentially at targeted locations by homologous recombination, enabling for the first time in plants the application of the powerful molecular genetic approaches used routinely in bacteria, yeast, and since 1989, the mouse embryonic stem cells. This article reviews our current knowledge of transformation and its unique suitability for functional genomic studies.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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