Rates and patterns of molecular evolution in bryophyte genomes, with focus on complex thalloid liverworts, Marchantiopsida

Anna Malin Linde, D. Magnus Eklund, Nils Cronberg, John L. Bowman, Ulf Lagercrantz

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Plants commonly referred to as “bryophytes” belong to three major lineages of non-vascular plants: the liverworts, the hornworts and the mosses. They are unique among land plants in having a dominant haploid generation and a short-lived diploid sporophytic generation. The dynamics of selection acting on a haploid genome differs from those acting on a diploid genome: new mutations are directly exposed to selection. The general aim of this paper is to investigate the diversification rate of bryophytes - measured as silent site substitution rate representing neutral evolution (mutation rate) and the nonsynonymous to synonymous substitution rate ratio (dN/dS) representing selective evolution - and compare it with earlier studies on vascular plants. Results show that the silent site substitution rate is lower for liverworts as compared to angiosperms, but not as low as for gymnosperms. The selection pressure, measured as dN/dS, is not remarkably lower for bryophytes as compared to other diploid dominant plants as would be expected by the masking hypothesis, indicating that other factors are more important than ploidy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107295
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Bryophyte
  • dN/dS
  • Gene expression
  • Masking hypothesis
  • Molecular evolution
  • Mutation rate

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