Abstract reads: Background and Aims — With some 7,300 extant species, liverworts (Marchantiophyta) represent one of the major land plant lineages. The backbone relationships, such as the phylogenetic position of Ptilidiales, and the occurrence and timing of whole genome duplications, are still contentious. Methods – Based on analyses of the newly generated transcriptome data for 38 liverworts and complemented with those publicly available, we reconstructed the evolutionary history of liverworts and inferred gene duplication events along the 55-taxon liverwort species tree. Key Results – Our phylogenomic study provided an ordinal-level liverwort nuclear phylogeny and identified extensive gene tree conflicts and cyto-nuclear incongruences. Gene duplication analyses based on integrated phylogenomics and Ks distributions indicated no evidence of whole genome duplication events along the backbone phylogeny of liverworts. Conclusions – With a broadened sampling of liverwort transcriptomes, we re-evaluated the backbone phylogeny of liverworts, and provided evidence for ancient hybridizations followed by incomplete lineage sorting that shaped the deep evolutionary history of liverworts. The lack of whole genome duplication along the deep evolution of liverworts indicates that liverworts might represent one of the few major embryophyte lineages whose evolution was not driven by whole genome duplications.
Dong S., J. Yu, L. Zhang, B. Goffinet & Y. Liu. Phylotranscriptomics of liverworts: revisiting the backbone phylogeny and ancestral gene duplications. Annals of Botany accepted.