Phylogeny and diversification of bryophytes
The bryophytes comprise three phyla of embryophytes that are well established to occupy the first nodes among extant lineages in the land-plant tree of life. The three bryophyte groups (hornworts, liverworts, mosses) may not form a monophyletic clade, but they share life history features including dominant free-living gametophytes and matrotrophic monosporangiate sporophytes. Because of their unique vegetative and reproductive innovations and their critical position in embryophyte phylogeny, studies of bryophytes are crucial to understanding the evolution of land plant morphology and genomes. This review focuses on phylogenetic relationships within each of the three divisions of bryophytes and relates morphological diversity to new insights about those relationships. Most previous work has been on the mosses, but progress on understanding the phylogeny of hornworts and liverworts is advancing at a rapid pace. Multilocus multigenome studies have been successful at resolving deep relationships within the mosses and liverworts, whereas single-gene analyses have advanced understanding of hornwort evolution.
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