Wong, G. K.-S., D. E. Soltis, J. Leebens-Mack, N. J. Wickett, M. S. Barker, Y. Van de Peer, S. W. Graham, and M. Melkonian. 2020. Sequencing and Analyzing the Transcriptomes of a Thousand Species Across the Tree of Life for Green Plants. Annual Review of Plant Biology 71:741–765. [View on publisher’s site]


The 1,000 Plants (1KP) initiative was the first large-scale effort to collect next-generation sequencing (NGS) data across a phylogenetically representative sampling of species for a major clade of life, in this case theViridiplantae, or green plants. As an international multidisciplinary consortium, we focused on plant evolution and its practical implications. Among the major outcomes were the inference of a reference species tree for green plants by phylotranscriptomic analysis of low-copy genes, a survey of paleopolyploidy (whole-genome duplications) across the Viridiplantae, the inferred evolutionary histories for many gene families and biological processes, the discovery of novel light-sensitive proteins for optogenetic studies in mammalian neuroscience, and elucidation of the genetic network for a complex trait (C4 photosynthesis). Altogether, 1KP demonstrated how value can be extracted from a phylodiverse sequencing data set, providing a template for future projects that aim to generate even more data, including complete de novo genomes, across the tree of life.