This genome, sequenced by the Joint Genome Institute of the U.S. Department of Energy, is expected to give scientists a better understanding of how plants of all kinds evolved over the past 500 million years. Banks, a professor of botany and plant pathology, led a team of about 100 scientists from 11 countries to sequence the genome of this lycophyte, representing the oldest living vascular plants. There are only three families and about 1.000 species of lycophytes remaining. Selaginella has been on Earth about 200 million years and is a real survivor.
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