Why land plants aren’t red, according to articles in ScienceDaily 20 March 2013 and PNAS; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1221259110. Seaweeds and algae are all plants, but they are not all green – there are red and brown varieties as well as green. A group of researchers have studied the genome of a red alga Chondrus crispus a seaweed that grows to about 20cm in length and is common on rocky North Atlantic coasts. It is also known as Irish Moss and by the Breton name ‘pioka’.

The scientists found it had an unusually small and compact genome for a multicellur organism – only 9,606 genes and 105 million base pairs, with each function generally corresponding to a single gene. Its gene families are small, and the genes closely spaced. The researchers were surprised by these findings and explain them by suggesting red algae experienced “a massive loss of genetic material as a result of extreme environmental conditions”. Included among the lost genes were genes for the flagellum – a whip-like structure used by cells, including reproductive cells, to move around in fluid. ScienceDaily reports: “Had this massive gene loss never occurred red algae might have extensively colonized the terrestrial environment, in the same way as green algae, which are the ancestors of all land plants. Yet this event-a real evolutionary bottleneck-has denied red algae the plasticity and genetic potential necessary to adapt to life on land.”


Editorial Comment: The actual findings are that Chondrus crispus has a smaller genome than other algae, but it has what is needed to be red seaweed. The idea that it once had a whole lot more genes is pure blind faith in something that has not been seen. Furthermore, the idea that all land plants from tiny mosses to huge gum trees are derived from green seaweed is pure evolutionary imagination. All we have ever scientifically observed is seaweed producing seaweed, and land plants only produce land plants according to their kinds, just as Genesis says God made them to do. We would also remind the authors of the original report used by ScienceDaily that their “real evolutionary bottleneck” only exists in the imaginations of men who never saw it happen. (Ref. plants, marine biology, genetics)

Evidence News 24 April 2013