An Efficient Sulfadiazine Selection Scheme for Stable Transformation in the Model Liverwort Marchantia polymorpha.

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Plant macroevolutionary studies leverage the phylogenetic position of non-flowering model systems like the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha to investigate the origin and evolution of key plant processes. To date, most molecular genetic studies in Marchantia rely on hygromycin and/or chlorsulfuron herbicide resistance markers for the selection of stable transformants. Here, we use a sulfonamide-resistant dihydropteroate synthase (DHPS) gene to enable sulfadiazine-based transformation selection in M. polymorpha. We demonstrate the reliability of sulfadiazine selection on its own and in combination with existing hygromycin and chlorsulfuron selection schemes through transgene stacking experiments. The utility of this system is further demonstrated through confocal microscopy of a triple transgenic line carrying fluorescent proteins labelling the plasma membrane, cortical microtubules, and the nucleus. Collectively, our findings and resources broaden the capacity to genetically manipulate the increasingly popular model liverwort M. polymorpha.