Growing Marchantia from gemma spores

From ActinoBase

Marchantia and their lifecycle

Marchantia (or liverworts) are a genus of plant in the bryophyte taxonomic division along with mosses and hornworts which are thought to be the oldest extant plants on earth. Marchantia have two ways of reproducing - sexually (during their sporophytic phase) and asexually (during their gametophytic phase). In their gametophytic phase, the plant produces gemma cups which contain gemmae, haploid spores which, when dispersed by wind or rain, has the ability to create a clone of its parent.
Marchantia polymorpha (the ‘Common liverwort’) is used as a model organism in biological studies.

You will need:

  • Healthy Marchantia polymorpha plant with developed gemma cups and gemma
  • dH2O
  • Sterile pipette tips of any size
  • Sterile tweezers
  • 1/2 MS+B5 agar plates
  • Micropore tape
  • Plant growth chamber
  • If you want to remove the plant from the agar without destroying its rhizoids: sterile nylon mesh (cut to the shape of petri dish)


  1. In a sterile environment, place a nylon mesh sheet onto your 1/2 MS+B5 agar plates.
  2. Submerge the Marchantia plant in water and agitate gemma cups with a pipette tip so that the gemma float to the surface of the water.
  3. Pick up a single gemma with the tip of a pipette tip and transfer over to the plate (coverd by nylon mesh if needed).
  4. Close the lid of the plate and seal with micropore tape.
  5. Grow in a growth chamber at 25°C and long daylight hours.


  • Kimitsune Ishizaki, Ryuichi Nishihama, Katsuyuki T. Yamato, Takayuki Kohchi, Molecular Genetic Tools and Techniques for Marchantia polymorpha Research , Plant and Cell Physiology, Volume 57, Issue 2, February 2016, Pages 262–270,
  • Bowman, J. L., Kohchi, T., Yamato, K. T., Jenkins, J., Shu, S., Ishizaki, K., ... & Schmutz, J. (2017). Insights into land plant evolution garnered from the Marchantia polymorpha genome. Cell, 171(2), 287-304,