Integrated phylogenomic analyses reveal recurrent ancestral large-scale duplication events in mosses

Bei Gao, Moxian Chen, Xiaoshuang Li, Yuqing Liang, Daoyuan Zhang, Andrew J. Wood, Melvin J. Oliver, Jianhua Zhang

Research output: Working paperPreprint


Mosses (Bryophyta) are a key group occupying important phylogenetic position for understanding land plant (embryophyte) evolution. The class Bryopsida represents the most diversified lineage and contains more than 95% of the modern mosses, whereas the other classes are by nature species-poor. The phylogeny of mosses remains elusive at present.

Recurrent whole genome duplications have shaped the evolution trajectory of angiosperms, but little is known about the genome evolutionary history in mosses. It remains to be answered if there existed a historical genome duplication event associated with the species radiation of class Bryopsida.

Here, the high-confidence moss phylogeny was generated covering major moss lineages. Two episodes of ancient genomic duplication events were elucidated by phylogenomic analyses, one in the ancestry of all mosses and another before the separation of the Bryopsida, Polytrichopsida and Tetraphidopsida, with estimated ages of the gene duplications clustered around 329 and 182 million year ago, respectively.

The third episode of polyploidy event (termed ψ) was tightly associated with the early diversification of Bryopsida with an estimated age of ~87 million years. By scrutinizing the phylogenetic timing of duplicated syntelogs in Physcomitrella patens, the WGD1 and WGD2 events were confidently re-recognized as the ψ event and the Funarioideae duplication event (~65 mya), respectively. Together, our findings unveiled four episodes of polyploidy events in the evolutionary past of Physcomitrella patens.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2019


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