Resolution of the ordinal phylogeny of mosses using targeted exons from organellar and nuclear genomes

Yang Liu, Matthew Johnson, Cymon J Cox, Rafael Medina, Nicolas Devos, Alain Vanderpoorten, Neil E Bell, James R Shevock, Blanka Aguero, Lars Hedenäs, Dietmar Quandt, Norman J. Wickett, A. Jonathan Shaw, Bernard Goffinet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Mosses are a highly diverse lineage of land plants, whose diversification, spanning at least 400 million years, remains phylogenetically ambiguous due to the lack of fossils, massive early extinctions, late radiations, limited morphological variation, and conflicting signal among previously used markers. Here, we present phylogenetic reconstructions based on complete organellar exomes and a comparable set of nuclear genes for this major lineage of land plants. Our analysis of 142 species representing 29 of the 30 moss orders reveals that relative average rates of non-synonymous substitutions in nuclear versus plastid genes are much higher in mosses than in seed plants, consistent with the emerging concept of evolutionary dynamism in mosses. Our results highlight the evolutionary significance of taxa with reduced morphologies, shed light on the relative tempo and mechanisms underlying major cladogenic events, and suggest hypotheses for the relationships and delineation of moss orders.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1485
Pages (from-to)1485
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


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