The Litsea genome and the evolution of the laurel family

Yi Cun Chen, Zhen Li, Yun Xiao Zhao, Ming Gao, Jie Yu Wang, Ke Wei Liu, Xue Wang, Li Wen Wu, Yu Lian Jiao, Zi Long Xu, Wen Guang He, Qi Yan Zhang, Chieh Kai Liang, Yu Yun Hsiao, Di Yang Zhang, Si Ren Lan, Laiqiang Huang, Wei Xu, Wen Chieh Tsai, Zhong Jian LiuYves Van de Peer, Yang Dong Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)


The laurel family within the Magnoliids has attracted attentions owing to its scents, variable inflorescences, and controversial phylogenetic position. Here, we present a chromosome-level assembly of the Litsea cubeba genome, together with low-coverage genomic and transcriptomic data for many other Lauraceae. Phylogenomic analyses show phylogenetic discordance at the position of Magnoliids, suggesting incomplete lineage sorting during the divergence of monocots, eudicots, and Magnoliids. An ancient whole-genome duplication (WGD) event occurred just before the divergence of Laurales and Magnoliales; subsequently, independent WGDs occurred almost simultaneously in the three Lauralean lineages. The phylogenetic relationships within Lauraceae correspond to the divergence of inflorescences, as evidenced by the phylogeny of FUWA, a conserved gene involved in determining panicle architecture in Lauraceae. Monoterpene synthases responsible for production of specific volatile compounds in Lauraceae are functionally verified. Our work sheds light on the evolution of the Lauraceae, the genetic basis for floral evolution and specific scents.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Apr 3

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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