, Volume 259, Issue 2-4, pp 175-198
Date: 19 Jun 2006

Towards the era of comparative evolutionary genomics in Brassicaceae

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The vast genetic diversity, specific genome organization and sequencing of the Arabidopsis thaliana genome made crucifers an ideal group for comparative genomic studies. Arabidopsis genomic resources have greatly expedited comparative genomics within Brassicaceae and fostered the establishment of new Arabidopsis relative model systems (ARMS). The extent of genome colinearity, modes and evolutionary rates of genome alterations are being analyzed by genetic mapping with ever increasing levels of precision. Comparative cytogenetic studies in Brassicaceae are employing various chromosome landmarks and cytogenetic techniques, including localization of rDNA, variation in centromeric satellite repeats, genomic in situ hybridization (GISH), fluorescence ISH using bacterial artificial chromosomes (BAC FISH), and large-scale comparative chromosome painting. Some genome alterations may represent rare genomic changes (RGCs) and thus have the potential to resolve complex/conflicting phylogenetic relationships inferred from DNA sequencing. Comparative genomics should increasingly be integrated with molecular phylogenetics and population genetics to elucidate the processes responsible for genetic variation in Brassicaceae.