RFLPs were used to study genome evolution and phylogeny in Brassica and related genera. Thirtyeight accessions, including 10 accessions of B. rapa (syn. campestris), 9 cultivated types of B. oleracea, 13 nine-chromosome wild brassicas related to B. oleracea, and 6 other species in Brassica and allied genera, were examined with more then 30 random genomic DNA probes, which identified RFLPs mapping to nine different linkage groups of the B. rapa genome. Based on the RFLP data, phylogenetic trees were constructed using the PAUP microcomputer program. Within B. rapa, accessions of pak choi, narinosa, and Chinese cabbage from East Asia constituted a group distinct from turnip and wild European populations, consistent with the hypothesis that B. rapa had two centers of domestication. A wild B. rapa accession from India was positioned in the tree between European types and East Asian types, suggesting an evolutionary pathway from Europe to India, then to South China. Cultivated B. oleracea morphotypes showed monophyletic origin with wild B. oleracea or B. alboglabra as possible ancestors. Various kales constitute a highly diverse group, and represent the primitive morphotypes of cultivated B. oleracea from which cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. probably have evolved. Cauliflower was found to be closely related to broccoli, whereas cabbage was closely related to leafy kales. A great diversity existed among the 13 collections of nine-chromosome wild brassicas related to B. oleracea, representing various taxonomic states from subspecies to species. Results from these studies suggested that two basic evolutionary pathways exist for the diploid species examined. One pathway gave rise to B. fruticulosa, B. nigra, and Sinapis arvensis, with B. adpressa or a close relative as the initial ancestor. Another pathway gave rise to B. oleracea and B. rapa, with Diplotaxis erucoides or a close relative as the initial ancestor. Raphanus sativus and Eruca sativus represented intermediate types between the two lineages, and might have been derived from introgression or hybridization between species belonging to different lineages. Molecular evidence for an ascending order of chromosome numbers in the evolution of Brassica and allied genera was obtained on the basis of RFLP data and phylogenetic analysis.
BrassicaMolecular taxonomyGenome evolutionPhylogenetic analysisRestriction fragment length polymorphism