Genomes of multicellular algal sisters to land plants illuminate signaling network evolution

Xuehuan Feng, Jinfang Zheng, Iker Irisarri, Huihui Yu, Bo Zheng, Zahin Ali, Sophie de Vries, Jean Keller, Janine M.R. Fürst-Jansen, Armin Dadras, Jaccoline M.S. Zegers, Tim P. Rieseberg, Amra Dhabalia Ashok, Tatyana Darienko, Maaike J. Bierenbroodspot, Lydia Gramzow, Romy Petroll, Fabian B. Haas, Noe Fernandez-Pozo, Orestis NousiasTang Li, Elisabeth Fitzek, W. Scott Grayburn, Nina Rittmeier, Charlotte Permann, Florian Rümpler, John M. Archibald, Günter Theißen, Jeffrey P. Mower, Maike Lorenz, Henrik Buschmann, Klaus von Schwartzenberg, Lori Boston, Richard D. Hayes, Chris Daum, Kerrie Barry, Igor V. Grigoriev, Xiyin Wang, Fay Wei Li, Stefan A. Rensing, Julius Ben Ari, Noa Keren, Assaf Mosquna, Andreas Holzinger, Pierre Marc Delaux, Chi Zhang, Jinling Huang, Marek Mutwil, Jan de Vries*, Yanbin Yin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Zygnematophyceae are the algal sisters of land plants. Here we sequenced four genomes of filamentous Zygnematophyceae, including chromosome-scale assemblies for three strains of Zygnema circumcarinatum. We inferred traits in the ancestor of Zygnematophyceae and land plants that might have ushered in the conquest of land by plants: expanded genes for signaling cascades, environmental response, and multicellular growth. Zygnematophyceae and land plants share all the major enzymes for cell wall synthesis and remodifications, and gene gains shaped this toolkit. Co-expression network analyses uncover gene cohorts that unite environmental signaling with multicellular developmental programs. Our data shed light on a molecular chassis that balances environmental response and growth modulation across more than 600 million years of streptophyte evolution.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1018-1031
Number of pages14
JournalNature Genetics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2024

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