Chapter

Wild Crop Relatives: Genomic and Breeding Resources

pp 137-147

Date:

Diplotaxis

  • Domenico PignoneAffiliated withCNR-Institute of Plant Genetics Email author 
  • , Juan B. Martínez-Laborde

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Abstract

The genus Diplotaxis DC. (family Brassicaceae, tribe Brassiceae) contains more than 30 morphologically and genetically different species, widely distributed over the Old World, and naturalized elsewhere. The genetic diversity in this genus is evidenced by molecular markers that allow discrimination between two different clades within the genus. Moreover a great variation is observed also for basic chromosome numbers, ranging from n = 7 to n = 13. The relative closeness to genus Brassica make this genus interesting for potential contribution of useful traits to cultivated Brassica species. The genus is also important as a source of food in the Mediterranean region. In fact, some species (e.g., Diplotaxis tenuifolia and D. muralis), due to the pungent taste of their leaves, are appreciated element of traditional diet of Mediterranean populations and are becoming a “gourmet food” thanks to promotion initiatives that have allowed a market to be established for these species. The quantitative and qualitative characterization of glucusinolates produced by different Diplotaxis species has recently called the attention of different disciplines, since some of these compounds have proved active in clinical tests. Germplasm collections are not too representative and regard mostly the species used by man as food.