Scientists have sequenced the genome of the Amborella plant, to reveal one thrilling combination: It's the sole survivor of an ancient evolutionary lineage. The plant — which is found only on New Caledonia in the South Pacific — descends directly from the last common ancestor of all flowering plants. The scientists said in the journal Science that the analysis revealed the processes that paved the way for the diversity of more than 300,000 species of flowering plants. They said the genome provided conclusive evidence that the ancestor of all flowering plants evolved after a "genetic doubling event" — a profusion of excess DNA in cells that enabled a variety of new functions — about 200 million years ago. news services