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1.  The Impact of Genome Triplication on Tandem Gene Evolution in Brassica rapa 
Whole genome duplication (WGD) and tandem duplication (TD) are both important modes of gene expansion. However, how WGD influences tandemly duplicated genes is not well studied. We used Brassica rapa, which has undergone an additional genome triplication (WGT) and shares a common ancestor with Arabidopsis thaliana, Arabidopsis lyrata, and Thellungiella parvula, to investigate the impact of genome triplication on tandem gene evolution. We identified 2,137, 1,569, 1,751, and 1,135 tandem gene arrays in B. rapa, A. thaliana, A. lyrata, and T. parvula respectively. Among them, 414 conserved tandem arrays are shared by the three species without WGT, which were also considered as existing in the diploid ancestor of B. rapa. Thus, after genome triplication, B. rapa should have 1,242 tandem arrays according to the 414 conserved tandems. Here, we found 400 out of the 414 tandems had at least one syntenic ortholog in the genome of B. rapa. Furthermore, 294 out of the 400 shared syntenic orthologs maintain tandem arrays (more than one gene for each syntenic hit) in B. rapa. For the 294 tandem arrays, we obtained 426 copies of syntenic paralogous tandems in the triplicated genome of B. rapa. In this study, we demonstrated that tandem arrays in B. rapa were dramatically fractionated after WGT when compared either to non-tandem genes in the B. rapa genome or to the tandem arrays in closely related species that have not experienced a recent whole genome polyploidization event.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2012.00261
PMCID: PMC3509317  PMID: 23226149
whole genome duplication; tandem duplication; tandem gene evolution; Brassica rapa; Arabidopsis thaliana; Arabidopsis lyrata; Thellungiella parvula
2.  BRAD, the genetics and genomics database for Brassica plants 
BMC Plant Biology  2011;11:136.
Background
Brassica species include both vegetable and oilseed crops, which are very important to the daily life of common human beings. Meanwhile, the Brassica species represent an excellent system for studying numerous aspects of plant biology, specifically for the analysis of genome evolution following polyploidy, so it is also very important for scientific research. Now, the genome of Brassica rapa has already been assembled, it is the time to do deep mining of the genome data.
Description
BRAD, the Brassica database, is a web-based resource focusing on genome scale genetic and genomic data for important Brassica crops. BRAD was built based on the first whole genome sequence and on further data analysis of the Brassica A genome species, Brassica rapa (Chiifu-401-42). It provides datasets, such as the complete genome sequence of B. rapa, which was de novo assembled from Illumina GA II short reads and from BAC clone sequences, predicted genes and associated annotations, non coding RNAs, transposable elements (TE), B. rapa genes' orthologous to those in A. thaliana, as well as genetic markers and linkage maps. BRAD offers useful searching and data mining tools, including search across annotation datasets, search for syntenic or non-syntenic orthologs, and to search the flanking regions of a certain target, as well as the tools of BLAST and Gbrowse. BRAD allows users to enter almost any kind of information, such as a B. rapa or A. thaliana gene ID, physical position or genetic marker.
Conclusion
BRAD, a new database which focuses on the genetics and genomics of the Brassica plants has been developed, it aims at helping scientists and breeders to fully and efficiently use the information of genome data of Brassica plants. BRAD will be continuously updated and can be accessed through http://brassicadb.org.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-11-136
PMCID: PMC3213011  PMID: 21995777
3.  Bolbase: a comprehensive genomics database for Brassica oleracea 
BMC Genomics  2013;14:664.
Background
Brassica oleracea is a morphologically diverse species in the family Brassicaceae and contains a group of nutrition-rich vegetable crops, including common heading cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi, kale, Brussels sprouts. This diversity along with its phylogenetic membership in a group of three diploid and three tetraploid species, and the recent availability of genome sequences within Brassica provide an unprecedented opportunity to study intra- and inter-species divergence and evolution in this species and its close relatives.
Description
We have developed a comprehensive database, Bolbase, which provides access to the B. oleracea genome data and comparative genomics information. The whole genome of B. oleracea is available, including nine fully assembled chromosomes and 1,848 scaffolds, with 45,758 predicted genes, 13,382 transposable elements, and 3,581 non-coding RNAs. Comparative genomics information is available, including syntenic regions among B. oleracea, Brassica rapa and Arabidopsis thaliana, synonymous (Ks) and non-synonymous (Ka) substitution rates between orthologous gene pairs, gene families or clusters, and differences in quantity, category, and distribution of transposable elements on chromosomes. Bolbase provides useful search and data mining tools, including a keyword search, a local BLAST server, and a customized GBrowse tool, which can be used to extract annotations of genome components, identify similar sequences and visualize syntenic regions among species. Users can download all genomic data and explore comparative genomics in a highly visual setting.
Conclusions
Bolbase is the first resource platform for the B. oleracea genome and for genomic comparisons with its relatives, and thus it will help the research community to better study the function and evolution of Brassica genomes as well as enhance molecular breeding research. This database will be updated regularly with new features, improvements to genome annotation, and new genomic sequences as they become available. Bolbase is freely available at http://ocri-genomics.org/bolbase.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-664
PMCID: PMC3849793  PMID: 24079801
Brassica oleracea; Database; Genome sequence; Synteny; Comparative genomics
4.  Divergent Evolutionary and Expression Patterns between Lineage Specific New Duplicate Genes and Their Parental Paralogs in Arabidopsis thaliana 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e72362.
Gene duplication is an important mechanism for the origination of functional novelties in organisms. We performed a comparative genome analysis to systematically estimate recent lineage specific gene duplication events in Arabidopsis thaliana and further investigate whether and how these new duplicate genes (NDGs) play a functional role in the evolution and adaption of A. thaliana. We accomplished this using syntenic relationship among four closely related species, A. thaliana, A. lyrata, Capsella rubella and Brassica rapa. We identified 100 NDGs, showing clear origination patterns, whose parental genes are located in syntenic regions and/or have clear orthologs in at least one of three outgroup species. All 100 NDGs were transcribed and under functional constraints, while 24% of the NDGs have differential expression patterns compared to their parental genes. We explored the underlying evolutionary forces of these paralogous pairs through conducting neutrality tests with sequence divergence and polymorphism data. Evolution of about 15% of NDGs appeared to be driven by natural selection. Moreover, we found that 3 NDGs not only altered their expression patterns when compared with parental genes, but also evolved under positive selection. We investigated the underlying mechanisms driving the differential expression of NDGs and their parents, and found a number of NDGs had different cis-elements and methylation patterns from their parental genes. Overall, we demonstrated that NDGs acquired divergent cis-elements and methylation patterns and may experience sub-functionalization or neo-functionalization influencing the evolution and adaption of A. thaliana.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0072362
PMCID: PMC3756979  PMID: 24009676
5.  Functional innovations of three chronological mesohexaploid Brassica rapa genomes 
BMC Genomics  2014;15(1):606.
Background
The Brassicaceae family is an exemplary model for studying plant polyploidy. The Brassicaceae knowledge-base includes the well-annotated Arabidopsis thaliana reference sequence; well-established evidence for three rounds of whole genome duplication (WGD); and the conservation of genomic structure, with 24 conserved genomic blocks (GBs). The recently released Brassica rapa draft genome provides an ideal opportunity to update our knowledge of the conserved genomic structures in Brassica, and to study evolutionary innovations of the mesohexaploid plant, B. rapa.
Results
Three chronological B. rapa genomes (recent, young, and old) were reconstructed with sequence divergences, revealing a trace of recursive WGD events. A total of 636 fast evolving genes were unevenly distributed throughout the recent and young genomes. The representative Gene Ontology (GO) terms for these genes were ‘stress response’ and ‘development’ both through a change in protein modification or signaling, rather than by enhancing signal recognition. In retention patterns analysis, 98% of B. rapa genes were retained as collinear gene pairs; 77% of those were singly-retained in recent or young genomes resulting from death of the ancestral copies, while others were multi-retained as long retention genes. GO enrichments indicated that single retention genes mainly function in the interpretation of genetic information, whereas, multi-retention genes were biased toward signal response, especially regarding development and defense. In the recent genome, 13,302, 5,790, and 20 gene pairs were multi-retained following Brassica whole genome triplication (WGT) events with 2, 3, and 4 homoeologous copies, respectively. Enriched GO-slim terms from B. rapa homomoelogues imply that a major effect of the B. rapa WGT may have been to acquire environmental adaptability or to change the course of development. These homoeologues seem to more frequently undergo subfunctionalization with spatial expression patterns compared with other possible events including nonfunctionalization and neofunctionalization.
Conclusion
We refined Brassicaceae GB information using the latest genomic resources, and distinguished three chronologically ordered B. rapa genomes. B. rapa genes were categorized into fast evolving, single- and multi-retention genes, and long retention genes by their substitution rates and retention patterns. Representative functions of the categorized genes were elucidated, providing better understanding of B. rapa evolution and the Brassica genus.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-606) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-606
PMCID: PMC4117954  PMID: 25033750
Brassica rapa; Chronological genomes; Fast-evolving genes; Single-retention genes; Multi-retention genes
6.  Complexity of genome evolution by segmental rearrangement in Brassica rapa revealed by sequence-level analysis 
BMC Genomics  2009;10:539.
Background
The Brassica species, related to Arabidopsis thaliana, include an important group of crops and represent an excellent system for studying the evolutionary consequences of polyploidy. Previous studies have led to a proposed structure for an ancestral karyotype and models for the evolution of the B. rapa genome by triplication and segmental rearrangement, but these have not been validated at the sequence level.
Results
We developed computational tools to analyse the public collection of B. rapa BAC end sequence, in order to identify candidates for representing collinearity discontinuities between the genomes of B. rapa and A. thaliana. For each putative discontinuity, one of the BACs was sequenced and analysed for collinearity with the genome of A. thaliana. Additional BAC clones were identified and sequenced as part of ongoing efforts to sequence four chromosomes of B. rapa. Strikingly few of the 19 inter-chromosomal rearrangements corresponded to the set of collinearity discontinuities anticipated on the basis of previous studies. Our analyses revealed numerous instances of newly detected collinearity blocks. For B. rapa linkage group A8, we were able to develop a model for the derivation of the chromosome from the ancestral karyotype. We were also able to identify a rearrangement event in the ancestor of B. rapa that was not shared with the ancestor of A. thaliana, and is represented in triplicate in the B. rapa genome. In addition to inter-chromosomal rearrangements, we identified and analysed 32 BACs containing the end points of segmental inversion events.
Conclusion
Our results show that previous studies of segmental collinearity between the A. thaliana, Brassica and ancestral karyotype genomes, although very useful, represent over-simplifications of their true relationships. The presence of numerous cryptic collinear genome segments and the frequent occurrence of segmental inversions mean that inference of the positions of genes in B. rapa based on the locations of orthologues in A. thaliana can be misleading. Our results will be of relevance to a wide range of plants that have polyploid genomes, many of which are being considered according to a paradigm of comprising conserved synteny blocks with respect to sequenced, related genomes.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-10-539
PMCID: PMC2783169  PMID: 19922648
7.  A newly-developed community microarray resource for transcriptome profiling in Brassica species enables the confirmation of Brassica-specific expressed sequences 
BMC Plant Biology  2009;9:50.
Background
The Brassica species include an important group of crops and provide opportunities for studying the evolutionary consequences of polyploidy. They are related to Arabidopsis thaliana, for which the first complete plant genome sequence was obtained and their genomes show extensive, although imperfect, conserved synteny with that of A. thaliana. A large number of EST sequences, derived from a range of different Brassica species, are available in the public database, but no public microarray resource has so far been developed for these species.
Results
We assembled unigenes using ~800,000 EST sequences, mainly from three species: B. napus, B. rapa and B. oleracea. The assembly was conducted with the aim of co-assembling ESTs of orthologous genes (including homoeologous pairs of genes in B. napus from each of the A and C genomes), but resolving assemblies of paralogous, or paleo-homoeologous, genes (i.e. the genes related by the ancestral genome triplication observed in diploid Brassica species). 90,864 unique sequence assemblies were developed. These were incorporated into the BAC sequence annotation for the Brassica rapa Genome Sequencing Project, enabling the identification of cognate genomic sequences for a proportion of them. A 60-mer oligo microarray comprising 94,558 probes was developed using the unigene sequences. Gene expression was analysed in reciprocal resynthesised B. napus lines and the B. oleracea and B. rapa lines used to produce them. The analysis showed that significant expression could consistently be detected in leaf tissue for 35,386 unigenes. Expression was detected across all four genotypes for 27,355 unigenes, genome-specific expression patterns were observed for 7,851 unigenes and 180 unigenes displayed other classes of expression pattern. Principal component analysis (PCA) clearly resolved the individual microarray datasets for B. rapa, B. oleracea and resynthesised B. napus. Quantitative differences in expression were observed between the resynthesised B. napus lines for 98 unigenes, most of which could be classified into non-additive expression patterns, including 17 that showed cytoplasm-specific patterns. We further characterized the unigenes for which A genome-specific expression was observed and cognate genomic sequences could be identified. Ten of these unigenes were found to be Brassica-specific sequences, including two that originate from complex loci comprising gene clusters.
Conclusion
We succeeded in developing a Brassica community microarray resource. Although expression can be measured for the majority of unigenes across species, there were numerous probes that reported in a genome-specific manner. We anticipate that some proportion of these will represent species-specific transcripts and the remainder will be the consequence of variation of sequences within the regions represented by the array probes. Our studies demonstrated that the datasets obtained from the arrays can be used for typical analyses, including PCA and the analysis of differential expression. We have also demonstrated that Brassica-specific transcripts identified in silico in the sequence assembly of public EST database accessions are indeed reported by the array. These would not be detectable using arrays designed using A. thaliana sequences.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-9-50
PMCID: PMC2685394  PMID: 19426481
8.  Sequence and structure of Brassica rapa chromosome A3 
Genome Biology  2010;11(9):R94.
Background
The species Brassica rapa includes important vegetable and oil crops. It also serves as an excellent model system to study polyploidy-related genome evolution because of its paleohexaploid ancestry and its close evolutionary relationships with Arabidopsis thaliana and other Brassica species with larger genomes. Therefore, its genome sequence will be used to accelerate both basic research on genome evolution and applied research across the cultivated Brassica species.
Results
We have determined and analyzed the sequence of B. rapa chromosome A3. We obtained 31.9 Mb of sequences, organized into nine contigs, which incorporated 348 overlapping BAC clones. Annotation revealed 7,058 protein-coding genes, with an average gene density of 4.6 kb per gene. Analysis of chromosome collinearity with the A. thaliana genome identified conserved synteny blocks encompassing the whole of the B. rapa chromosome A3 and sections of four A. thaliana chromosomes. The frequency of tandem duplication of genes differed between the conserved genome segments in B. rapa and A. thaliana, indicating differential rates of occurrence/retention of such duplicate copies of genes. Analysis of 'ancestral karyotype' genome building blocks enabled the development of a hypothetical model for the derivation of the B. rapa chromosome A3.
Conclusions
We report the near-complete chromosome sequence from a dicotyledonous crop species. This provides an example of the complexity of genome evolution following polyploidy. The high degree of contiguity afforded by the clone-by-clone approach provides a benchmark for the performance of whole genome shotgun approaches presently being applied in B. rapa and other species with complex genomes.
doi:10.1186/gb-2010-11-9-r94
PMCID: PMC2965386  PMID: 20875114
9.  Genome-wide comparative analysis of NBS-encoding genes between Brassica species and Arabidopsis thaliana 
BMC Genomics  2014;15:3.
Background
Plant disease resistance (R) genes with the nucleotide binding site (NBS) play an important role in offering resistance to pathogens. The availability of complete genome sequences of Brassica oleracea and Brassica rapa provides an important opportunity for researchers to identify and characterize NBS-encoding R genes in Brassica species and to compare with analogues in Arabidopsis thaliana based on a comparative genomics approach. However, little is known about the evolutionary fate of NBS-encoding genes in the Brassica lineage after split from A. thaliana.
Results
Here we present genome-wide analysis of NBS-encoding genes in B. oleracea, B. rapa and A. thaliana. Through the employment of HMM search and manual curation, we identified 157, 206 and 167 NBS-encoding genes in B. oleracea, B. rapa and A. thaliana genomes, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis among 3 species classified NBS-encoding genes into 6 subgroups. Tandem duplication and whole genome triplication (WGT) analyses revealed that after WGT of the Brassica ancestor, NBS-encoding homologous gene pairs on triplicated regions in Brassica ancestor were deleted or lost quickly, but NBS-encoding genes in Brassica species experienced species-specific gene amplification by tandem duplication after divergence of B. rapa and B. oleracea. Expression profiling of NBS-encoding orthologous gene pairs indicated the differential expression pattern of retained orthologous gene copies in B. oleracea and B. rapa. Furthermore, evolutionary analysis of CNL type NBS-encoding orthologous gene pairs among 3 species suggested that orthologous genes in B. rapa species have undergone stronger negative selection than those in B .oleracea species. But for TNL type, there are no significant differences in the orthologous gene pairs between the two species.
Conclusion
This study is first identification and characterization of NBS-encoding genes in B. rapa and B. oleracea based on whole genome sequences. Through tandem duplication and whole genome triplication analysis in B. oleracea, B. rapa and A. thaliana genomes, our study provides insight into the evolutionary history of NBS-encoding genes after divergence of A. thaliana and the Brassica lineage. These results together with expression pattern analysis of NBS-encoding orthologous genes provide useful resource for functional characterization of these genes and genetic improvement of relevant crops.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-3
PMCID: PMC4008172  PMID: 24383931
Brassica species; Disease resistance gene; Nucleotide binding site; Tandem duplication; Whole genome duplication
10.  De novo assembly and characterization of Camelina sativa transcriptome by paired-end sequencing 
BMC Genomics  2013;14:146.
Background
Biofuels extracted from the seeds of Camelina sativa have recently been used successfully as environmentally friendly jet-fuel to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Camelina sativa is genetically very close to Arabidopsis thaliana, and both are members of the Brassicaceae. Although public databases are currently available for some members of the Brassicaceae, such as A. thaliana, A. lyrata, Brassica napus, B. juncea and B. rapa, there are no public Expressed Sequence Tags (EST) or genomic data for Camelina sativa. In this study, a high-throughput, large-scale RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) of the Camelina sativa transcriptome was carried out to generate a database that will be useful for further functional analyses.
Results
Approximately 27 million clean “reads” filtered from raw reads by removal of adaptors, ambiguous reads and low-quality reads (2.42 gigabase pairs) were generated by Illumina paired-end RNA-seq technology. All of these clean reads were assembled de novo into 83,493 unigenes and 103,196 transcripts using SOAPdenovo and Trinity, respectively. The average length of the transcripts generated by Trinity was 697 bp (N50 = 976), which was longer than the average length of unigenes (319 bp, N50 = 346 bp). Nonetheless, the assembly generated by SOAPdenovo produced similar number of non-redundant hits (22,435) with that of Trinity (22,433) in BLASTN searches of the Arabidopsis thaliana CDS sequence database (TAIR). Four public databases, the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG), Swiss-prot, NCBI non-redundant protein (NR), and the Cluster of Orthologous Groups (COG), were used for unigene annotation; 67,791 of 83,493 unigenes (81.2%) were finally annotated with gene descriptions or conserved protein domains that were mapped to 25,329 non-redundant protein sequences. We mapped 27,042 of 83,493 unigenes (32.4%) to 119 KEGG metabolic pathways.
Conclusions
This is the first report of a transcriptome database for Camelina sativa, an environmentally important member of the Brassicaceae. We showed that C. savita is closely related to Arabidopsis spp. and more distantly related to Brassica spp. Although the majority of annotated genes had high sequence identity to those of A. thaliana, a substantial proportion of disease-resistance genes (NBS-encoding LRR genes) were instead more closely similar to the genes of other Brassicaceae; these genes included BrCN, BrCNL, BrNL, BrTN, BrTNL in B. rapa. As plant genomes are under long-term selection pressure from environmental stressors, conservation of these disease-resistance genes in C. sativa and B. rapa genomes implies that they are exposed to the threats from closely-related pathogens in their natural habitats.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-146
PMCID: PMC3635884  PMID: 23496985
Brassicaceae; Camelina sativa; Transcriptome; de novo; Paired-end sequencing; NBS-LRR
11.  Functional alleles of the flowering time regulator FRIGIDA in the Brassica oleracea genome 
BMC Plant Biology  2012;12:21.
Background
Plants adopt different reproductive strategies as an adaptation to growth in a range of climates. In Arabidopsis thaliana FRIGIDA (FRI) confers a vernalization requirement and thus winter annual habit by increasing the expression of the MADS box transcriptional repressor FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC). Variation at FRI plays a major role in A. thaliana life history strategy, as independent loss-of-function alleles that result in a rapid-cycling habit in different accessions, appear to have evolved many times. The aim of this study was to identify and characterize orthologues of FRI in Brassica oleracea.
Results
We describe the characterization of FRI from Brassica oleracea and identify the two B. oleracea FRI orthologues (BolC.FRI.a and BolC.FRI.b). These show extensive amino acid conservation in the central and C-terminal regions to FRI from other Brassicaceae, including A. thaliana, but have a diverged N-terminus. The genes map to two of the three regions of B. oleracea chromosomes syntenic to part of A. thaliana chromosome 5 suggesting that one of the FRI copies has been lost since the ancient triplication event that formed the B. oleracea genome. This genomic position is not syntenic with FRI in A. thaliana and comparative analysis revealed a recombination event within the A. thaliana FRI promoter. This relocated A. thaliana FRI to chromosome 4, very close to the nucleolar organizer region, leaving a fragment of FRI in the syntenic location on A. thaliana chromosome 5. Our data show this rearrangement occurred after the divergence from A. lyrata. We explored the allelic variation at BolC.FRI.a within cultivated B. oleracea germplasm and identified two major alleles, which appear equally functional both to each other and A. thaliana FRI, when expressed as fusions in A. thaliana.
Conclusions
We identify the two Brassica oleracea FRI genes, one of which we show through A. thaliana complementation experiments is functional, and show their genomic location is not syntenic with A. thaliana FRI due to an ancient recombination event. This has complicated previous association analyses of FRI with variation in life history strategy in the Brassica genus.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-12-21
PMCID: PMC3299615  PMID: 22333192
FRIGIDA; Flowering time; vernalization; synteny; Brassica oleracea; Arabidopsis thaliana
12.  Unleashing the Genome of Brassica Rapa 
The completion and release of the Brassica rapa genome is of great benefit to researchers of the Brassicas, Arabidopsis, and genome evolution. While its lineage is closely related to the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana, the Brassicas experienced a whole genome triplication subsequent to their divergence. This event contemporaneously created three copies of its ancestral genome, which had diploidized through the process of homeologous gene loss known as fractionation. By the fractionation of homeologous gene content and genetic regulatory binding sites, Brassica’s genome is well placed to use comparative genomic techniques to identify syntenic regions, homeologous gene duplications, and putative regulatory sequences. Here, we use the comparative genomics platform CoGe to perform several different genomic analyses with which to study structural changes of its genome and dynamics of various genetic elements. Starting with whole genome comparisons, the Brassica paleohexaploidy is characterized, syntenic regions with A. thaliana are identified, and the TOC1 gene in the circadian rhythm pathway from A. thaliana is used to find duplicated orthologs in B. rapa. These TOC1 genes are further analyzed to identify conserved non-coding sequences that contain cis-acting regulatory elements and promoter sequences previously implicated in circadian rhythmicity. Each “cookbook style” analysis includes a step-by-step walk-through with links to CoGe to quickly reproduce each step of the analytical process.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2012.00172
PMCID: PMC3408644  PMID: 22866056
comparative genomics; synteny; CoGe; Brassica rapa; syntenic dotplot; Arabidopsis; TOC1; conserved non-coding sequences
13.  A rich TILLING resource for studying gene function in Brassica rapa 
BMC Plant Biology  2010;10:62.
Background
The Brassicaceae family includes the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana as well as a number of agronomically important species such as oilseed crops (in particular Brassica napus, B. juncea and B. rapa) and vegetables (eg. B. rapa and B. oleracea).
Separated by only 10-20 million years, Brassica species and Arabidopsis thaliana are closely related, and it is expected that knowledge obtained relating to Arabidopsis growth and development can be translated into Brassicas for crop improvement. Moreover, certain aspects of plant development are sufficiently different between Brassica and Arabidopsis to warrant studies to be carried out directly in the crop species. However, mutating individual genes in the amphidiploid Brassicas such as B. napus and B. juncea may, on the other hand, not give rise to expected phenotypes as the genomes of these species can contain up to six orthologues per single-copy Arabidopsis gene. In order to elucidate and possibly exploit the function of redundant genes for oilseed rape crop improvement, it may therefore be more efficient to study the effects in one of the diploid Brassica species such as B. rapa. Moreover, the ongoing sequencing of the B. rapa genome makes this species a highly attractive model for Brassica research and genetic resource development.
Results
Seeds from the diploid Brassica A genome species, B. rapa were treated with ethyl methane sulfonate (EMS) to produce a TILLING (Targeting Induced Local Lesions In Genomes) population for reverse genetics studies. We used the B. rapa genotype, R-o-18, which has a similar developmental ontogeny to an oilseed rape crop. Hence this resource is expected to be well suited for studying traits with relevance to yield and quality of oilseed rape. DNA was isolated from a total of 9,216 M2 plants and pooled to form the basis of the TILLING platform. Analysis of six genes revealed a high level of mutations with a density of about one per 60 kb. This analysis also demonstrated that screening a 1 kb amplicon in just one third of the population (3072 M2 plants) will provide an average of 68 mutations and a 97% probability of obtaining a stop-codon mutation resulting in a truncated protein. We furthermore calculated that each plant contains on average ~10,000 mutations and due to the large number of plants, it is predicted that mutations in approximately half of the GC base pairs in the genome exist within this population.
Conclusions
We have developed the first EMS TILLING resource in the diploid Brassica species, B. rapa. The mutation density in this population is ~1 per 60 kb, which makes it the most densely mutated diploid organism for which a TILLING population has been published. This resource is publicly available through the RevGenUK reverse genetics platform http://revgenuk.jic.ac.uk.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-10-62
PMCID: PMC2923536  PMID: 20380715
14.  Genome-wide comparative analysis of the Brassica rapa gene space reveals genome shrinkage and differential loss of duplicated genes after whole genome triplication 
Genome Biology  2009;10(10):R111.
Euchromatic regions of the Brassica rapa genome were sequenced and mapped onto the corresponding regions in the Arabidopsis thaliana genome.
Background
Brassica rapa is one of the most economically important vegetable crops worldwide. Owing to its agronomic importance and phylogenetic position, B. rapa provides a crucial reference to understand polyploidy-related crop genome evolution. The high degree of sequence identity and remarkably conserved genome structure between Arabidopsis and Brassica genomes enables comparative tiling sequencing using Arabidopsis sequences as references to select the counterpart regions in B. rapa, which is a strong challenge of structural and comparative crop genomics.
Results
We assembled 65.8 megabase-pairs of non-redundant euchromatic sequence of B. rapa and compared this sequence to the Arabidopsis genome to investigate chromosomal relationships, macrosynteny blocks, and microsynteny within blocks. The triplicated B. rapa genome contains only approximately twice the number of genes as in Arabidopsis because of genome shrinkage. Genome comparisons suggest that B. rapa has a distinct organization of ancestral genome blocks as a result of recent whole genome triplication followed by a unique diploidization process. A lack of the most recent whole genome duplication (3R) event in the B. rapa genome, atypical of other Brassica genomes, may account for the emergence of B. rapa from the Brassica progenitor around 8 million years ago.
Conclusions
This work demonstrates the potential of using comparative tiling sequencing for genome analysis of crop species. Based on a comparative analysis of the B. rapa sequences and the Arabidopsis genome, it appears that polyploidy and chromosomal diploidization are ongoing processes that collectively stabilize the B. rapa genome and facilitate its evolution.
doi:10.1186/gb-2009-10-10-r111
PMCID: PMC2784326  PMID: 19821981
15.  Identification and profiling of novel microRNAs in the Brassica rapa genome based on small RNA deep sequencing 
BMC Plant Biology  2012;12:218.
Background
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are one of the functional non-coding small RNAs involved in the epigenetic control of the plant genome. Although plants contain both evolutionary conserved miRNAs and species-specific miRNAs within their genomes, computational methods often only identify evolutionary conserved miRNAs. The recent sequencing of the Brassica rapa genome enables us to identify miRNAs and their putative target genes. In this study, we sought to provide a more comprehensive prediction of B. rapa miRNAs based on high throughput small RNA deep sequencing.
Results
We sequenced small RNAs from five types of tissue: seedlings, roots, petioles, leaves, and flowers. By analyzing 2.75 million unique reads that mapped to the B. rapa genome, we identified 216 novel and 196 conserved miRNAs that were predicted to target approximately 20% of the genome’s protein coding genes. Quantitative analysis of miRNAs from the five types of tissue revealed that novel miRNAs were expressed in diverse tissues but their expression levels were lower than those of the conserved miRNAs. Comparative analysis of the miRNAs between the B. rapa and Arabidopsis thaliana genomes demonstrated that redundant copies of conserved miRNAs in the B. rapa genome may have been deleted after whole genome triplication. Novel miRNA members seemed to have spontaneously arisen from the B. rapa and A. thaliana genomes, suggesting the species-specific expansion of miRNAs. We have made this data publicly available in a miRNA database of B. rapa called BraMRs. The database allows the user to retrieve miRNA sequences, their expression profiles, and a description of their target genes from the five tissue types investigated here.
Conclusions
This is the first report to identify novel miRNAs from Brassica crops using genome-wide high throughput techniques. The combination of computational methods and small RNA deep sequencing provides robust predictions of miRNAs in the genome. The finding of numerous novel miRNAs, many with few target genes and low expression levels, suggests the rapid evolution of miRNA genes. The development of a miRNA database, BraMRs, enables us to integrate miRNA identification, target prediction, and functional annotation of target genes. BraMRs will represent a valuable public resource with which to study the epigenetic control of B. rapa and other closely related Brassica species. The database is available at the following link: http://bramrs.rna.kr [1].
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-12-218
PMCID: PMC3554443  PMID: 23163954
Brassica rapa; Genome; miRNA; miRNA target; Small RNA sequencing; Database
16.  Beyond genomic variation - comparison and functional annotation of three Brassica rapa genomes: a turnip, a rapid cycling and a Chinese cabbage 
BMC Genomics  2014;15:250.
Background
Brassica rapa is an economically important crop species. During its long breeding history, a large number of morphotypes have been generated, including leafy vegetables such as Chinese cabbage and pakchoi, turnip tuber crops and oil crops.
Results
To investigate the genetic variation underlying this morphological variation, we re-sequenced, assembled and annotated the genomes of two B. rapa subspecies, turnip crops (turnip) and a rapid cycling. We then analysed the two resulting genomes together with the Chinese cabbage Chiifu reference genome to obtain an impression of the B. rapa pan-genome. The number of genes with protein-coding changes between the three genotypes was lower than that among different accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana, which can be explained by the smaller effective population size of B. rapa due to its domestication. Based on orthology to a number of non-brassica species, we estimated the date of divergence among the three B. rapa morphotypes at approximately 250,000 YA, far predating Brassica domestication (5,000-10,000 YA).
Conclusions
By analysing genes unique to turnip we found evidence for copy number differences in peroxidases, pointing to a role for the phenylpropanoid biosynthesis pathway in the generation of morphological variation. The estimated date of divergence among three B. rapa morphotypes implies that prior to domestication there was already considerably divergence among B. rapa genotypes. Our study thus provides two new B. rapa reference genomes, delivers a set of computer tools to analyse the resulting pan-genome and uses these to shed light on genetic drivers behind the rich morphological variation found in B. rapa.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-250
PMCID: PMC4230417  PMID: 24684742
17.  Progress in Understanding and Sequencing the Genome of Brassica rapa 
Brassica rapa, which is closely related to Arabidopsis thaliana, is an important crop and a model plant for studying genome evolution via polyploidization. We report the current understanding of the genome structure of B. rapa and efforts for the whole-genome sequencing of the species. The tribe Brassicaceae, which comprises ca. 240 species, descended from a common hexaploid ancestor with a basic genome similar to that of Arabidopsis. Chromosome rearrangements, including fusions and/or fissions, resulted in the present-day “diploid” Brassica species with variation in chromosome number and phenotype. Triplicated genomic segments of B. rapa are collinear to those of A. thaliana with InDels. The genome triplication has led to an approximately 1.7-fold increase in the B. rapa gene number compared to that of A. thaliana. Repetitive DNA of B. rapa has also been extensively amplified and has diverged from that of A. thaliana. For its whole-genome sequencing, the Brassica rapa Genome Sequencing Project (BrGSP) consortium has developed suitable genomic resources and constructed genetic and physical maps. Ten chromosomes of B. rapa are being allocated to BrGSP consortium participants, and each chromosome will be sequenced by a BAC-by-BAC approach. Genome sequencing of B. rapa will offer a new perspective for plant biology and evolution in the context of polyploidization.
doi:10.1155/2008/582837
PMCID: PMC2233773  PMID: 18288250
18.  A Brassica rapa Linkage Map of EST-based SNP Markers for Identification of Candidate Genes Controlling Flowering Time and Leaf Morphological Traits 
For identification of genes responsible for varietal differences in flowering time and leaf morphological traits, we constructed a linkage map of Brassica rapa DNA markers including 170 EST-based markers, 12 SSR markers, and 59 BAC sequence-based markers, of which 151 are single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers. By BLASTN, 223 markers were shown to have homologous regions in Arabidopsis thaliana, and these homologous loci covered nearly the whole genome of A. thaliana. Synteny analysis between B. rapa and A. thaliana revealed 33 large syntenic regions. Three quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for flowering time were detected. BrFLC1 and BrFLC2 were linked to the QTLs for bolting time, budding time, and flowering time. Three SNPs in the promoter, which may be the cause of low expression of BrFLC2 in the early-flowering parental line, were identified. For leaf lobe depth and leaf hairiness, one major QTL corresponding to a syntenic region containing GIBBERELLIN 20 OXIDASE 3 and one major QTL containing BrGL1, respectively, were detected. Analysis of nucleotide sequences and expression of these genes suggested possible involvement of these genes in leaf morphological traits.
doi:10.1093/dnares/dsp020
PMCID: PMC2780953  PMID: 19884167
DNA markers; synteny; bolting time; leaf lobe; leaf hairiness
19.  Evolution of Genome Size in Brassicaceae 
Annals of botany  2005;95(1):229-235.
Background and Aims
Brassicaceae, with nearly 340 genera and more than 3350 species, anchors the low range of angiosperm genome sizes. The relatively narrow range of DNA content (0·16 pg < 1C < 1·95 pg) was maintained in spite of extensive chromosomal change. The aim of this study was to erect a cytological and molecular phylogenetic framework for a selected subset of the Brassicacae, and use this as a template to examine genome size evolution in Brassicaceae.
Methods
DNA contents were determined by flow cytometry and chromosomes were counted for 34 species of the family Brassicaceae and for ten Arabidopsis thaliana ecotypes. The amplified and sequenced ITS region for 23 taxa (plus six other taxa with known ITS sequences) were aligned and used to infer evolutionary relationship by parsimony analysis.
Key Results
DNA content in the species studied ranged over 8-fold (1C = 0·16–1·31 pg), and 4·4-fold (1C = 0·16–0·71 pg) excluding allotetraploid Brassica species. The 1C DNA contents of ten Arabidopsis thaliana ecotypes showed little variation, ranging from 0·16 pg to 0·17 pg.
Conclusions
The tree roots at an ancestral genome size of approximately 1x = 0·2 pg. Arabidopsis thaliana (1C = 0·16 pg; ~157 Mbp) has the smallest genome size in Brassicaceae studied here and apparently represents an evolutionary decrease in genome size. Two other branches that represent probable evolutionary decreases in genome size terminate in Lepidium virginicum and Brassica rapa. Branches in the phylogenetic tree that represent probable evolutionary increases in genome size terminate in Arabidopsis halleri, A. lyrata, Arabis hirsuta, Capsella rubella, Caulanthus heterophyllus, Crucihimalaya, Lepidium sativum, Sisymbrium and Thlaspi arvense. Branches within one clade containing Brassica were identified that represent two ancient ploidy events (2x to 4x and 4x to 6x) that were predicted from published comparative mapping studies.
doi:10.1093/aob/mci016
PMCID: PMC1950721  PMID: 15596470
Arabidopsis; Brassicaceae; ITS phylogeny; DNA content; genome size; chromosome number
20.  Evolution of Genome Size in Brassicaceae 
Annals of Botany  2005;95(1):229-235.
• Background and Aims Brassicaceae, with nearly 340 genera and more than 3350 species, anchors the low range of angiosperm genome sizes. The relatively narrow range of DNA content (0·16 pg < 1C < 1·95 pg) was maintained in spite of extensive chromosomal change. The aim of this study was to erect a cytological and molecular phylogenetic framework for a selected subset of the Brassicacae, and use this as a template to examine genome size evolution in Brassicaceae.
• Methods DNA contents were determined by flow cytometry and chromosomes were counted for 34 species of the family Brassicaceae and for ten Arabidopsis thaliana ecotypes. The amplified and sequenced ITS region for 23 taxa (plus six other taxa with known ITS sequences) were aligned and used to infer evolutionary relationship by parsimony analysis.
• Key Results DNA content in the species studied ranged over 8-fold (1C = 0·16–1·31 pg), and 4·4-fold (1C = 0·16–0·71 pg) excluding allotetraploid Brassica species. The 1C DNA contents of ten Arabidopsis thaliana ecotypes showed little variation, ranging from 0·16 pg to 0·17 pg.
• Conclusions The tree roots at an ancestral genome size of approximately 1x = 0·2 pg. Arabidopsis thaliana (1C = 0·16 pg; ∼157 Mbp) has the smallest genome size in Brassicaceae studied here and apparently represents an evolutionary decrease in genome size. Two other branches that represent probable evolutionary decreases in genome size terminate in Lepidium virginicum and Brassica rapa. Branches in the phylogenetic tree that represent probable evolutionary increases in genome size terminate in Arabidopsis halleri, A. lyrata, Arabis hirsuta, Capsella rubella, Caulanthus heterophyllus, Crucihimalaya, Lepidium sativum, Sisymbrium and Thlaspi arvense. Branches within one clade containing Brassica were identified that represent two ancient ploidy events (2x to 4x and 4x to 6x) that were predicted from published comparative mapping studies.
doi:10.1093/aob/mci016
PMCID: PMC1950721  PMID: 15596470
Arabidopsis; Brassicaceae; ITS phylogeny; DNA content; genome size; chromosome number
21.  Quantitative Trait Loci Mapping in Brassica rapa Revealed the Structural and Functional Conservation of Genetic Loci Governing Morphological and Yield Component Traits in the A, B, and C Subgenomes of Brassica Species 
Brassica rapa is an important crop species that produces vegetables, oilseed, and fodder. Although many studies reported quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping, the genes governing most of its economically important traits are still unknown. In this study, we report QTL mapping for morphological and yield component traits in B. rapa and comparative map alignment between B. rapa, B. napus, B. juncea, and Arabidopsis thaliana to identify candidate genes and conserved QTL blocks between them. A total of 95 QTL were identified in different crucifer blocks of the B. rapa genome. Through synteny analysis with A. thaliana, B. rapa candidate genes and intronic and exonic single nucleotide polymorphisms in the parental lines were detected from whole genome resequenced data, a few of which were validated by mapping them to the QTL regions. Semi-quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR analysis showed differences in the expression levels of a few genes in parental lines. Comparative mapping identified five key major evolutionarily conserved crucifer blocks (R, J, F, E, and W) harbouring QTL for morphological and yield components traits between the A, B, and C subgenomes of B. rapa, B. juncea, and B. napus. The information of the identified candidate genes could be used for breeding B. rapa and other related Brassica species.
doi:10.1093/dnares/dss029
PMCID: PMC3576654  PMID: 23223793
Brassica rapa; quantitative trait loci (QTL); morphological traits; single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP); conserved genome blocks
22.  Highly syntenic regions in the genomes of soybean, Medicago truncatula, and Arabidopsis thaliana 
BMC Plant Biology  2005;5:15.
Background
Recent genome sequencing enables mega-base scale comparisons between related genomes. Comparisons between animals, plants, fungi, and bacteria demonstrate extensive synteny tempered by rearrangements. Within the legume plant family, glimpses of synteny have also been observed. Characterizing syntenic relationships in legumes is important in transferring knowledge from model legumes to crops that are important sources of protein, fixed nitrogen, and health-promoting compounds.
Results
We have uncovered two large soybean regions exhibiting synteny with M. truncatula and with a network of segmentally duplicated regions in Arabidopsis. In all, syntenic regions comprise over 500 predicted genes spanning 3 Mb. Up to 75% of soybean genes are colinear with M. truncatula, including one region in which 33 of 35 soybean predicted genes with database support are colinear to M. truncatula. In some regions, 60% of soybean genes share colinearity with a network of A. thaliana duplications. One region is especially interesting because this 500 kbp segment of soybean is syntenic to two paralogous regions in M. truncatula on different chromosomes. Phylogenetic analysis of individual genes within these regions demonstrates that one is orthologous to the soybean region, with which it also shows substantially denser synteny and significantly lower levels of synonymous nucleotide substitutions. The other M. truncatula region is inferred to be paralogous, presumably resulting from a duplication event preceding speciation.
Conclusion
The presence of well-defined M. truncatula segments showing orthologous and paralogous relationships with soybean allows us to explore the evolution of contiguous genomic regions in the context of ancient genome duplication and speciation events.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-5-15
PMCID: PMC1201151  PMID: 16102170
23.  Secondary Evolution of a Self-Incompatibility Locus in the Brassicaceae Genus Leavenworthia 
PLoS Biology  2013;11(5):e1001560.
Self-incompatibility enables plants to avoid inbreeding by self-pollination. Here we report that the genetic locus encoding self-pollen recognition has evolved twice in the Brassicaceae family, challenging the notion that loss of self-incompatibility is irreversible.
Self-incompatibility (SI) is the flowering plant reproductive system in which self pollen tube growth is inhibited, thereby preventing self-fertilization. SI has evolved independently in several different flowering plant lineages. In all Brassicaceae species in which the molecular basis of SI has been investigated in detail, the product of the S-locus receptor kinase (SRK) gene functions as receptor in the initial step of the self pollen-rejection pathway, while that of the S-locus cysteine-rich (SCR) gene functions as ligand. Here we examine the hypothesis that the S locus in the Brassicaceae genus Leavenworthia is paralogous with the S locus previously characterized in other members of the family. We also test the hypothesis that self-compatibility in this group is based on disruption of the pollen ligand-producing gene. Sequence analysis of the S-locus genes in Leavenworthia, phylogeny of S alleles, gene expression patterns, and comparative genomics analyses provide support for both hypotheses. Of special interest are two genes located in a non-S locus genomic region of Arabidopsis lyrata that exhibit domain structures, sequences, and phylogenetic histories similar to those of the S-locus genes in Leavenworthia, and that also share synteny with these genes. These A. lyrata genes resemble those comprising the A. lyrata S locus, but they do not function in self-recognition. Moreover, they appear to belong to a lineage that diverged from the ancestral Brassicaceae S-locus genes before allelic diversification at the S locus. We hypothesize that there has been neo-functionalization of these S-locus-like genes in the Leavenworthia lineage, resulting in evolution of a separate ligand-receptor system of SI. Our results also provide support for theoretical models that predict that the least constrained pathway to the evolution of self-compatibility is one involving loss of pollen gene function.
Author Summary
Self-incompatibility (SI) is a pollen recognition system that enables plants to avoid the inbreeding caused by self-pollination. It involves a pair of tightly linked genes known as the S locus. The product of one of these genes acts as the receptor and recognizes the pollen protein produced by the same plant, while the product of the other gene is the pollen protein that is recognized by the receptor. In this study, we have analyzed the gene sequence, genome organization, and gene evolutionary history of S loci in members of the Brassicaceae family, which includes plants of the genus Leavenworthia. From our analyses, we conclude that both genes that comprise the ancestral S locus in the Brassicaceae were lost in Leavenworthia. We show, however, that plants of this genus possess two other linked genes that exhibit patterns of polymorphism and expression that are characteristic of an S locus. These genes occupy the same genomic position in Leavenworthia as do two non-S-locus genes in the related species Arabidopsis lyrata, genes that are not known to function in self-recognition in this species. We suggest that these genes have evolved to assume the function of the pollen recognition system of SI in Leavenworthia—that is, that there has been de novo emergence of a distinct Brassicaceae S locus in this genus. We also present evidence that the breakdown of the SI system in two Leavenworthia races is due to independent mutations in the S-locus pollen gene, in accordance with theoretical predictions for the spread of S-locus disrupting mutations.
doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001560
PMCID: PMC3653793  PMID: 23690750
24.  Evolutionary, structural and functional relationships revealed by comparative analysis of syntenic genes in Rhizobiales 
Background
Comparative genomics has provided valuable insights into the nature of gene sequence variation and chromosomal organization of closely related bacterial species. However, questions about the biological significance of gene order conservation, or synteny, remain open. Moreover, few comprehensive studies have been reported for rhizobial genomes.
Results
We analyzed the genomic sequences of four fast growing Rhizobiales (Sinorhizobium meliloti, Agrobacterium tumefaciens, Mesorhizobium loti and Brucella melitensis). We made a comprehensive gene classification to define chromosomal orthologs, genes with homologs in other replicons such as plasmids, and those which were species-specific. About two thousand genes were predicted to be orthologs in each chromosome and about 80% of these were syntenic. A striking gene colinearity was found in pairs of organisms and a large fraction of the microsyntenic regions and operons were similar. Syntenic products showed higher identity levels than non-syntenic ones, suggesting a resistance to sequence variation due to functional constraints; also, an unusually high fraction of syntenic products contained membranal segments. Syntenic genes encode a high proportion of essential cell functions, presented a high level of functional relationships and a very low horizontal gene transfer rate. The sequence variability of the proteins can be considered the species signature in response to specific niche adaptation. Comparatively, an analysis with genomes of Enterobacteriales showed a different gene organization but gave similar results in the synteny conservation, essential role of syntenic genes and higher functional linkage among the genes of the microsyntenic regions.
Conclusion
Syntenic bacterial genes represent a commonly evolved group. They not only reveal the core chromosomal segments present in the last common ancestor and determine the metabolic characteristics shared by these microorganisms, but also show resistance to sequence variation and rearrangement, possibly due to their essential character. In Rhizobiales and Enterobacteriales, syntenic genes encode a high proportion of essential cell functions and presented a high level of functional relationships.
doi:10.1186/1471-2148-5-55
PMCID: PMC1276791  PMID: 16229745
25.  Sequenced BAC anchored reference genetic map that reconciles the ten individual chromosomes of Brassica rapa 
BMC Genomics  2009;10:432.
Background
In view of the immense value of Brassica rapa in the fields of agriculture and molecular biology, the multinational Brassica rapa Genome Sequencing Project (BrGSP) was launched in 2003 by five countries. The developing BrGSP has valuable resources for the community, including a reference genetic map and seed BAC sequences. Although the initial B. rapa linkage map served as a reference for the BrGSP, there was ambiguity in reconciling the linkage groups with the ten chromosomes of B. rapa. Consequently, the BrGSP assigned each of the linkage groups to the project members as chromosome substitutes for sequencing.
Results
We identified simple sequence repeat (SSR) motifs in the B. rapa genome with the sequences of seed BACs used for the BrGSP. By testing 749 amplicons containing SSR motifs, we identified polymorphisms that enabled the anchoring of 188 BACs onto the B. rapa reference linkage map consisting of 719 loci in the 10 linkage groups with an average distance of 1.6 cM between adjacent loci. The anchored BAC sequences enabled the identification of 30 blocks of conserved synteny, totaling 534.9 cM in length, between the genomes of B. rapa and Arabidopsis thaliana. Most of these were consistent with previously reported duplication and rearrangement events that differentiate these genomes. However, we were able to identify the collinear regions for seven additional previously uncharacterized sections of the A genome. Integration of the linkage map with the B. rapa cytogenetic map was accomplished by FISH with probes representing 20 BAC clones, along with probes for rDNA and centromeric repeat sequences. This integration enabled unambiguous alignment and orientation of the maps representing the 10 B. rapa chromosomes.
Conclusion
We developed a second generation reference linkage map for B. rapa, which was aligned unambiguously to the B. rapa cytogenetic map. Furthermore, using our data, we confirmed and extended the comparative genome analysis between B. rapa and A. thaliana. This work will serve as a basis for integrating the genetic, physical, and chromosome maps of the BrGSP, as well as for studies on polyploidization, speciation, and genome duplication in the genus Brassica.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-10-432
PMCID: PMC2761421  PMID: 19751531

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