Whole-Genome Duplication and Plant Macroevolution

James W. Clark, Philip C.J. Donoghue*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

191 Citations (Scopus)
769 Downloads (Pure)


Whole-genome duplication (WGD) is characteristic of almost all fundamental lineages of land plants. Unfortunately, the timings of WGD events are loosely constrained and hypotheses of evolutionary consequence are poorly formulated, making them difficult to test. Using examples from across the plant kingdom, we show that estimates of timing can be improved through the application of molecular clock methodology to multigene datasets. Further, we show that phenotypic change can be quantified in morphospaces and that relative phenotypic disparity can be compared in the light of WGD. Together, these approaches facilitate tests of hypotheses on the role of WGD in plant evolution, underscoring the potential of plants as a model system for investigating the role WGD in macroevolution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)933-945
Number of pages13
JournalTrends in Plant Science
Issue number10
Early online date16 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


  • genome duplication
  • macroevolution
  • plant evolution
  • polyploidy


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