Welcome to OpenPlant Marchantia!

If you are interested in using Marchantia as a multicellular plant model system for fundamental bioengineering work, you are in the right place. Here you'll find information on resources being generated by OpenPlant to work with Marchantia. There are lots of exciting projects bubbling in our OpenPlant Synthetic Biology Research Center and we are looking forward to bringing you news about them; so keep an eye on this site!

The Marchantia community is enthusiastic about working together in order to advance projects and methods in an efficient, standardised and collaborative way, so do get in touch,

With best wishes,

Dr. Susana Sauret-Gueto and Prof. Jim Haseloff


OpenPlant Marchantia main goals,

Marchantia polymorpha is the best characterised liverwort plant. It is a common weed, and can grow quickly and resiliently. The relative simplicity of genetic networks in Marchantia, combined with the growing set of genetic manipulation, culture and microscopy techniques, are set to make this primitive plant a major new system for analysis and engineering (Boehm et al 2017).

  • OpenPlant aims at exploiting the extraordinary experimental properties of Marchantia, and produce a series of resources:

- a Marchantia library of DNA parts including a comprehensive collection of gene regulatory sequences and other synthetic tools (FPs, CRISPR/Cas9,...)

- Marchantia lines with integrated cell fate markers in order to track physiological and morphogenetic changes and develop a reference atlas of cells and tissue types throughout development

  • This requires a comprehensive collection of modular DNA parts and standardised practices for DNA assembly, as well as appropriate registries to facilitate sharing of resources (DNA parts and transformed plants).

Marchantia for Synthetic Botany

Plants are attractive platforms for synthetic biology and metabolic engineering. However, efforts have been constrained by slow growth, long life cycles, the requirement for specialized facilities, a paucity of efficient tools for genetic manipulation, and the complexity of multicellularity. Marchantia polymorpha is a simple model plant that enables new approaches to the DNA-based manipulation of plants and the use of advanced quantitative imaging techniques.. These offer the prospects of improved understanding of plant dynamics and new approaches to rational engineering of plant traits.

Christian R. Boehm*, Bernardo Pollak*, Nuri Purswani, Nicola Patron and Jim Haseloff, Synthetic Botany. CSH Perspectives in Biology  doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a023887  (2017).