Ancestral gene duplications in mosses characterized by integrated phylogenomic analyses

Bei Gao, Mo Xian Chen, Xiao Shuang Li, Yu Qing Liang, Dao Yuan Zhang, Andrew J. Wood, Melvin J. Oliver*, Jianhua Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Mosses (Bryophyta) are a key group occupying an important phylogenetic position in land plant (embryophyte) evolution. The class Bryopsida represents the most diversified lineage, containing more than 95% of modern mosses, whereas other classes are species-poor. Two branches with large numbers of gene duplications were elucidated by phylogenomic analyses, one in the ancestry of all mosses and another before the separation of the Bryopsida, Polytrichopsida, and Tetraphidopsida. The analysis of the phylogenetic progression of duplicated paralogs retained on genomic syntenic regions in the Physcomitrella patens genome confirmed that the whole-genome duplication events WGD1 and WGD2 were re-recognized as the ψ event and the Funarioideae duplication event, respectively. The ψ polyploidy event was tightly associated with the early diversification of Bryopsida, in the ancestor of Bryidae, Dicranidae, Timmiidae, and Funariidae. Together, four branches with large numbers of gene duplications were unveiled in the evolutionary past of P. patens. Gene retention patterns following the four large-scale duplications in different moss lineages were analyzed and discussed. Recurrent significant retention of stress-related genes may have contributed to their adaption to distinct ecological environments and the evolutionary success of this early-diverging land plant lineage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-159
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Systematics and Evolution
Issue number1
Early online date10 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • gene duplication
  • moss
  • phylogenomic
  • Physcomitrella
  • polyploidy
  • WGD


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