The most comprehensive bryophyte phylogeny to date

Hot off the press ! We have just published the most comprehensive phylogenomic study of bryophytes. An effort born out the collaboration between the leaders of the goflag project and several North American, Latin American, European and Australian institutions.

The goflag project is spearheaded by Gordon Burleigh, Stuart McDaniel, Christine Davis (U. of Florida), and Emily Sessa (New York Botanical Garden) and they developed a large number of loci (over 400) for all flagellate land plants from hornworts, mosses, ferns, lycophytes up to cycads. As a product of a collaborative effort between 31 researchers, we provided the most comprehensive bryophyte phylogeny to date.  Bernard Goffinet (U. of Connecticut) and J.C. Villarreal (U. Laval) coordinated the effort. We sampled 531 species belonging to 52 out of the 54 known orders and 228 genes. Using coalescent and dating approaches we provide a timeframe for diversification in all major (ordinal level) bryophytes lineages including hornworts, liverworts, and mosses. At the same time, we have uncovered high topological conflict across many nodes suggesting more complex underlying processes such as ancient reticulation, and incomplete lineage sorting due to rapid diversification, among others.

This study will be a great resource for the bryophyte community providing loci for detailed studies at family, genus, and species level.

The study was highlighted by Le Soleil  and the Laval University press.

Pictures for Figure 1 of the article were kindly shared by Štěpán Koval (A, D, E, F, I), Sahut Chantanaorrapint (B), Des Callaghan (C, J, L), Bernard Goffinet, (H), Jerry Jenkins (K), and David Wagner (G).