Anthoceros genomes illuminate the origin of land plants and the unique biology of hornworts

Fay-Wei Li, Tomaoki Nishiyama, Manuel Waller, Eftychios Frangedakis, Jean Keller, Zheng Li, Noe Fernandez-Pozo, Michael S Barker, Tom A Bennett, Miguel A Blazquez, Shifeng Cheng, Andrew Cuming, Jan de Vries, Sophie de Vries, Pierre-Marc Delaux, Issa S Diop, C Jill Harrison, Duncan Hauser, Jorge Hernandez-Garcia, Alexander KirbisJohn Meeks, Isabel Monte, Sumanth K Mutte, Anna Neubauer, Dietmar Quandt, Tanner Robison, Masaki Shimamura, Stefan Rensing, Juan Carlos Villareal, Dolf Weijers, Susann Wicke, Gane K-S Wong, Keiko Sakakibara, Péter Szövényi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

145 Citations (Scopus)
127 Downloads (Pure)


Hornworts are a bryophyte lineage that diverged from other extant land plants >400 million years ago and bear unique biological features, including a distinct sporophyte architecture, cyanobacterial symbiosis, and pyrenoid-based carbon-concentrating mechanism (CCM). Here we provide three high-quality genomes of Anthoceros hornworts. Phylogenomic analyses placed hornworts sister to liverworts+mosses with high support. The Anthoceros genomes lack repeat-dense centromeres as well as whole genome duplication, and contain a limited transcription factor repertoire. Several genes involved in angiosperm meristem and stomata function are conserved in Anthoceros and up-regulated during sporophyte development, suggesting possible homologies at the genetic level. We identified candidate genes involved in cyanobacterial symbiosis, and found that LCIB, a Chlamydomonas CCM gene, is present in hornworts but absent in other plant lineages, implying a possible conserved role in CCM function. We anticipate these hornwort genomes will serve as essential references for future hornwort research and comparative studies across land plants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259–272
JournalNature Plants
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2020


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