Cytogenetics and genome analysis in Brassica crops
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- Snowdon, R.J. Chromosome Res (2007) 15: 85. doi:10.1007/s10577-006-1105-y
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The genus Brassica contains a wide range of diploid and amphipolyploid species including some of the most important vegetable, condiment and oilseed crops worldwide. As members of the Brassicaceae family the brassicas are the closest crop relatives to the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, and hence are major beneficiaries from the vast array of Arabidopsis molecular genetic and genomic tools and the increasingly good annotation to major Brassica crop genomes. In this review examples are shown from recent studies that demonstrate the potential for intergenome navigation from model to crop plant and for comparisons among genetic and cytogenetic maps between the model and crop species and among different crop brassicas. The use of interspecific and intergeneric hybridization for introgression of novel traits into Brassica genomes from the secondary and tertiary crucifer genepools is described. In this context the use of the Brassica triangle of three diploid species and their corresponding amphiploids as an excellent model system for studying the mechanisms and control of homeologous recombination and polyploidization is discussed from a crop breeding perspective.