The Evolution of Flavonoid Biosynthesis: A Bryophyte Perspective.
ABSTRACT: The flavonoid pathway is one of the best characterized specialized metabolite pathways of plants. In angiosperms, the flavonoids have varied roles in assisting with tolerance to abiotic stress and are also key for signaling to pollinators and seed dispersal agents. The pathway is thought to be specific to land plants and to have arisen during the period of land colonization around 550-470 million years ago. In this review we consider current knowledge of the flavonoid pathway in the bryophytes, consisting of the liverworts, hornworts, and mosses. The pathway is less characterized for bryophytes than angiosperms, and the first genetic and molecular studies on bryophytes are finding both commonalities and significant differences in flavonoid biosynthesis and pathway regulation between angiosperms and bryophytes. This includes biosynthetic pathway branches specific to each plant group and the apparent complete absence of flavonoids from the hornworts.
Project description:The colonization of plant tissues by pathogenic and symbiotic microbes is associated with a strong and directed effort to reprogram host cells in order to permit, promote and sustain microbial growth. In response to colonization, hosts accommodate or sequester invading microbes by activating a set of complex regulatory programs that initiate symbioses or bolster defenses. Extensive research has elucidated a suite of molecular and physiological responses occurring in plant hosts and their microbial partners; however, this information is mostly limited to model systems representing evolutionarily young plant lineages such as angiosperms. The extent to which these processes are conserved across land plants is therefore poorly understood. In this review, we outline key aspects of host reprogramming that occur during plant-microbe interactions in early diverging land plants belonging to the bryophytes (liverworts, hornworts and mosses). We discuss how further knowledge of bryophyte-microbe interactions will advance our understanding of how plants and microbes co-operated and clashed during the conquest of land.
Project description:Hornworts, liverworts and mosses are three early diverging clades of land plants, and together comprise the bryophytes. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of the hornwort Anthoceros angustus. Phylogenomic inferences confirm the monophyly of bryophytes, with hornworts sister to liverworts and mosses. The simple morphology of hornworts correlates with low genetic redundancy in plant body plan, while the basic transcriptional regulation toolkit for plant development has already been established in this early land plant lineage. Although the Anthoceros genome is small and characterized by minimal redundancy, expansions are observed in gene families related to RNA editing, UV protection and desiccation tolerance. The genome of A. angustus bears the signatures of horizontally transferred genes from bacteria and fungi, in particular of genes operating in stress-response and metabolic pathways. Our study provides insight into the unique features of hornworts and their molecular adaptations to live on land.
Project description:Congruence among analyses of plant genomic data partitions (nuclear, chloroplast and mitochondrial) is a strong indicator of accuracy in plant molecular phylogenetics. Recent analyses of both nuclear and chloroplast genome data of land plants (embryophytes) have, controversially, been shown to support monophyly of both bryophytes (mosses, liverworts, and hornworts) and tracheophytes (lycopods, ferns, and seed plants), with mosses and liverworts forming the clade Setaphyta. However, relationships inferred from mitochondria are incongruent with these results, and typically indicate paraphyly of bryophytes with liverworts alone resolved as the earliest-branching land plant group. Here, we reconstruct the mitochondrial land plant phylogeny from a newly compiled data set. When among-lineage composition heterogeneity is accounted for in analyses of codon-degenerate nucleotide and amino acid data, the clade Setaphyta is recovered with high support, and hornworts are supported as the earliest-branching lineage of land plants. These new mitochondrial analyses demonstrate partial congruence with current hypotheses based on nuclear and chloroplast genome data, and provide further incentive for revision of how plants arose on land.
Project description:The flavonoids in bryophytes may have great significance in phylogeny and metabolism research. However, to date there has been little research on bryophyte metabolites, especially flavonoids. To redress this somewhat, we determined flavonoid concentrations of bryophytes from Tianmu Mountain through a colorimetric assay and considered the factors influencing the results. This is the first time that the flavonoid contents of bryophytes have been examined in detail. The results revealed a range of total flavonoid concentrations in 90 samples collected from Tianmu Mountain from 1.8 to 22.3 mg/g (w/w). The total flavonoid contents of liverworts were generally higher than those of mosses; acrocarpous mosses had generally higher values than that of pleurocarpous mosses. The total flavonoid contents of bryophytes growing at lower light levels were general higher than those growing in full-sun. The total flavonoid contents of epiphytic bryophytes were highest, while those of aquatic bryophytes were the lowest. Total flavonoid contents of species growing at low-latitudes were much higher than those at high-latitude individuals. In conclusion, total flavonoid contents of bryophytes have some connection with plant phylogeny; more flavonoids might be contained in relatively primitive bryophytes. Meanwhile, the effects of ecological factors on total flavonoid contents of bryophytes exist; light and habitat (especially tree habitat and river habitat) might be representative factor.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Bryophytes represent a very diverse group of non-vascular plants such as mosses, liverworts and hornworts and the oldest extant lineage of land plants. Determination of endogenous phytohormone profiles in bryophytes can provide substantial information about early land plant evolution. In this study, we screened thirty bryophyte species including six liverworts and twenty-four mosses for their phytohormone profiles in order to relate the hormonome with phylogeny in the plant kingdom.<h4>Methodology</h4>Samples belonging to nine orders (Pelliales, Jungermanniales, Porellales, Sphagnales, Tetraphidales, Polytrichales, Dicranales, Bryales, Hypnales) were collected in Central and Northern Bohemia. The phytohormone content was analysed with a high performance liquid chromatography electrospray tandem-mass spectrometry (HPLC-ESI-MS/MS).<h4>Principal findings</h4>As revealed for growth hormones, some common traits such as weak conjugation of both cytokinins and auxins, intensive production of cisZ-type cytokinins and strong oxidative degradation of auxins with abundance of a major primary catabolite 2-oxindole-3-acetic acid were pronounced in all bryophytes. Whereas apparent dissimilarities in growth hormones profiles between liverworts and mosses were evident, no obvious trends in stress hormone levels (abscisic acid, jasmonic acid, salicylic acid) were found with respect to the phylogeny.<h4>Conclusion</h4>The apparent differences in conjugation and/or degradation strategies of growth hormones between liverworts and mosses might potentially show a hidden link between vascular plants and liverworts. On the other hand, the complement of stress hormones in bryophytes probably correlate rather with prevailing environmental conditions and plant survival strategy than with plant evolution.
Project description:Phylogenetic relationships among the four major lineages of land plants (liverworts, mosses, hornworts, and vascular plants) remain vigorously contested; their resolution is essential to our understanding of the origin and early evolution of land plants. We analyzed three different complementary data sets: a multigene supermatrix, a genomic structural character matrix, and a chloroplast genome sequence matrix, using maximum likelihood, maximum parsimony, and compatibility methods. Analyses of all three data sets strongly supported liverworts as the sister to all other land plants, and analyses of the multigene and chloroplast genome matrices provided moderate to strong support for hornworts as the sister to vascular plants. These results highlight the important roles of liverworts and hornworts in two major events of plant evolution: the water-to-land transition and the change from a haploid gametophyte generation-dominant life cycle in bryophytes to a diploid sporophyte generation-dominant life cycle in vascular plants. This study also demonstrates the importance of using a multifaceted approach to resolve difficult nodes in the tree of life. In particular, it is shown here that densely sampled taxon trees built with multiple genes provide an indispensable test of taxon-sparse trees inferred from genome sequences.
Project description:Genes encoding ribosomal RNA (rDNA) are universal key constituents of eukaryotic genomes, and the nuclear genome harbours hundreds to several thousand copies of each species. Knowledge about the number of rDNA loci and gene copy number provides information for comparative studies of organismal and molecular evolution at various phylogenetic levels. With the exception of seed plants, the range of 45S rDNA locus (encoding 18S, 5.8S and 26S rRNA) and gene copy number variation within key evolutionary plant groups is largely unknown. This is especially true for the three earliest land plant lineages Marchantiophyta (liverworts), Bryophyta (mosses), and Anthocerotophyta (hornworts). In this work, we report the extent of rDNA variation in early land plants, assessing the number of 45S rDNA loci and gene copy number in 106 species and 25 species, respectively, of mosses, liverworts and hornworts. Unexpectedly, the results show a narrow range of ribosomal locus variation (one or two 45S rDNA loci) and gene copies not present in vascular plant lineages, where a wide spectrum is recorded. Mutation analysis of whole genomic reads showed higher (3-fold) intragenomic heterogeneity of Marchantia polymorpha (Marchantiophyta) rDNA compared to Physcomitrella patens (Bryophyta) and two angiosperms (Arabidopsis thaliana and Nicotiana tomentosifomis) suggesting the presence of rDNA pseudogenes in its genome. No association between phylogenetic position, taxonomic adscription and the number of rDNA loci and gene copy number was found. Our results suggest a likely evolutionary rDNA stasis during land colonisation and diversification across 480 myr of bryophyte evolution. We hypothesise that strong selection forces may be acting against ribosomal gene locus amplification. Despite showing a predominant haploid phase and infrequent meiosis, overall rDNA homogeneity is not severely compromised in bryophytes.
Project description:Organellar genomes of bryophytes are poorly represented with chloroplast genomes of only four mosses, four liverworts and two hornworts having been sequenced and annotated. Moreover, while Antarctic vegetation is dominated by the bryophytes, there are few reports on the plastid genomes for the Antarctic bryophytes. Sanionia uncinata (Hedw.) Loeske is one of the most dominant moss species in the maritime Antarctic. It has been researched as an important marker for ecological studies and as an extremophile plant for studies on stress tolerance. Here, we report the complete plastome sequence of S. uncinata, which can be exploited in comparative studies to identify the lineage-specific divergence across different species. The complete plastome of S. uncinata is 124,374 bp in length with a typical quadripartite structure of 114 unique genes including 82 unique protein-coding genes, 37 tRNA genes and four rRNA genes. However, two genes encoding the ? subunit of RNA polymerase (rpoA) and encoding the cytochrome b6/f complex subunit VIII (petN) were absent. We could identify nuclear genes homologous to those genes, which suggests that rpoA and petN might have been relocated from the chloroplast genome to the nuclear genome.
Project description:During evolution of land plants, the first colonizing species presented leafy-dominant gametophytes, found in non-vascular plants (bryophytes). Today, bryophytes include liverworts, mosses, and hornworts. In the first seedless vascular plants (lycophytes), the sporophytic stage of life started to be predominant. In the seed producing plants, gymnosperms and angiosperms , the gametophytic stage is restricted to reproduction. In mosses and ferns, the haploid spores germinate and form a protonema, which develops into a leafy gametophyte producing rhizoids for anchorage, water and nutrient uptakes. The basal gymnosperms (cycads and <i>Ginkgo</i>) reproduce by zooidogamy. Their pollen grains develop a multi-branched pollen tube that penetrates the nucellus and releases flagellated sperm cells that swim to the egg cell. The pollen grain of other gymnosperms (conifers and gnetophytes) as well as angiosperms germinates and produces a pollen tube that directly delivers the sperm cells to the ovule (siphonogamy). These different gametophytes, which are short or long-lived structures, share a common tip-growing mode of cell expansion. Tip-growth requires a massive cell wall deposition to promote cell elongation, but also a tight spatial and temporal control of the cell wall remodeling in order to modulate the mechanical properties of the cell wall. The growth rate of these cells is very variable depending on the structure and the species, ranging from very slow (protonemata, rhizoids, and some gymnosperm pollen tubes), to a slow to fast-growth in other gymnosperms and angiosperms. In addition, the structural diversity of the female counterparts in angiosperms (dry, semi-dry <i>vs</i> wet stigmas, short <i>vs</i> long, solid <i>vs</i> hollow styles) will impact the speed and efficiency of sperm delivery. As the evolution and diversity of the cell wall polysaccharides accompanied the diversification of cell wall structural proteins and remodeling enzymes, this review focuses on our current knowledge on the biochemistry, the distribution and remodeling of the main cell wall polymers (including cellulose, hemicelluloses, pectins, callose, arabinogalactan-proteins and extensins), during the tip-expansion of gametophytes from bryophytes, pteridophytes (lycophytes and monilophytes), gymnosperms and the monocot and eudicot angiosperms.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Whether male and female gametes are produced by single or separate individuals shapes plant mating and hence patterns of genetic diversity among and within populations. Haploid-dominant plants ("bryophytes": liverworts, mosses and hornworts) can have unisexual (dioicous) or bisexual (monoicous) gametophytes, and today, 68% of liverwort species, 57% of moss species, and 40% of hornwort species are dioicous. The transitions between the two sexual systems and possible correlations with other traits have been studied in liverworts and mosses, but not hornworts. Here we use a phylogeny for 98 of the 200 species of hornworts, the sister group to vascular plants, representing roughly equal proportions of all monoicous and all dioicous species, to test whether transitions in sexual systems are predominantly from monoicy to dioicy as might be expected based on studies of mosses. We further investigate possible correlations between sexual system and spore size, antheridium number, ploidy level, and diversification rate, with character selection partly based on findings in mosses and liverworts. RESULTS: Hornworts underwent numerous transitions between monoicy and dioicy. The transition rate from dioicy to monoicy was 2× higher than in the opposite direction, but monoicous groups have higher extinction rates; diversification rates do not correlate with sexual system. A correlation important in mosses, that between monoicy and polyploidy, apparently plays a small role: of 20 species with chromosome counts, only one is polyploid, the monoicous Anthoceros punctatus. A contingency test revealed that transitions to dioicy were more likely in species with small spores, supporting the hypothesis that small but numerous spores may be advantageous for dioicous species that depend on dense carpets of gametophytes for reproductive assurance. However, we found no evidence for increased antheridium-per-chamber numbers in dioicous species. CONCLUSIONS: Sexual systems in hornworts are labile, and the higher number of extant monoicous species (60%) may be largely due to frequent transitions to monoicy.