J Syst Evol ›› 2019, Vol. 57 ›› Issue (4): 382-394.doi: 10.1111/jse.12515

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Exploring the plastid genome disparity of liverworts

Ying Yu1,2†, Hong-Mei Liu3†, Jun-Bo Yang4, Wen-Zhang Ma2, Silvia Pressel5, Yu-Huan Wu1, and Harald Schneider6*   

  1. 1College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou 311121, China
    2Key Laboratory for Plant Diversity and Biogeography of East Asia, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650201, China
    3Key Laboratory of Tropical Plant Resources and Sustainable Use, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla 666303, Yunnan, China
    4Plant Germplasm and Genomics Center, Germplasm Bank of Wild Species, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650201, China
    5Department of Life Sciences, Natural History Museum, London SW7 5BD, UK
    6Center for Integrative Conservation, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla 666303, Yunnan, China
  • Received:2019-02-14 Accepted:2019-05-16 Online:2019-02-14 Published:2019-07-01

Abstract:

Sequencing the plastid genomes of land plants provides crucial improvements to our understanding of the plastome evolution of land plants. Although the number of available complete plastid genome sequences has rapidly increased in the recent years, only a few sequences have been yet released for the three bryophyte lineages, namely hornworts, liverworts, and mosses. Here, we explore the disparity of the plastome structure of liverworts by increasing the number of sequenced liverwort plastomes from five to 18. The expanded sampling included representatives of all major lineages of liverworts including the genus Haplomitrium. The disparity of the liverwort genomes was compared with other 2386 land plant plastomes with emphasis on genome size and GC‐content. We found evidence for structural conservatism of the plastid genomes in liverworts and a trend towards reduced plastome sequence length in liverworts and derived mosses compared to other land plants, including hornworts and basal lineages of mosses. Furthermore, Aneura and Haplomitrium were distinct from other liverworts by an increased GC content, with the one found in Haplomitrium only second to the lycophyte Selaginella. The results suggest the hypothesis that liverworts and other land plants inherited and conserved the plastome structure of their most recent algal ancestors.

Key words: bryophytes, chloroplast, evolutionary conservatism, genome evolution, land plant evolution

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