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Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2014 Aug 5;369(1648). pii: 20130353. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2013.0353.

Tangled up in two: a burst of genome duplications at the end of the Cretaceous and the consequences for plant evolution.

Author information

1
Department of Plant Systems Biology, VIB, 9052 Ghent, Belgium Department of Plant Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Ghent University, 9052 Ghent, Belgium.
2
Department of Plant Systems Biology, VIB, 9052 Ghent, Belgium Department of Plant Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Ghent University, 9052 Ghent, Belgium Genomics Research Institute (GRI), University of Pretoria, 0028 Pretoria, South Africa yves.vandepeer@psb.vib-ugent.be.

Abstract

Genome sequencing has demonstrated that besides frequent small-scale duplications, large-scale duplication events such as whole genome duplications (WGDs) are found on many branches of the evolutionary tree of life. Especially in the plant lineage, there is evidence for recurrent WGDs, and the ancestor of all angiosperms was in fact most likely a polyploid species. The number of WGDs found in sequenced plant genomes allows us to investigate questions about the roles of WGDs that were hitherto impossible to address. An intriguing observation is that many plant WGDs seem associated with periods of increased environmental stress and/or fluctuations, a trend that is evident for both present-day polyploids and palaeopolyploids formed around the Cretaceous-Palaeogene (K-Pg) extinction at 66 Ma. Here, we revisit the WGDs in plants that mark the K-Pg boundary, and discuss some specific examples of biological innovations and/or diversifications that may be linked to these WGDs. We review evidence for the processes that could have contributed to increased polyploid establishment at the K-Pg boundary, and discuss the implications on subsequent plant evolution in the Cenozoic.

KEYWORDS:

K–Pg boundary; extinction event; innovation; plant evolution; speciation; whole genome duplication

PMID:
24958926
PMCID:
PMC4071526
DOI:
10.1098/rstb.2013.0353
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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