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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2005 Jun;8(3):264-71.

The glucosinolate-myrosinase system in an ecological and evolutionary context.

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Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, California 95616, USA.


Functional analysis of natural variation in the model species Arabidopsis thaliana has enabled the cloning of many glucosinolate biosynthesis and hydrolysis genes. Variation in these genes is central to understanding the ecological role of the glucosinolate-myrosinase defense system, and allows us to dissect the evolutionary and ecological forces that shape polymorphism at underlying loci. These same genes are also variable in other crucifer species, suggesting the presence of recurring selection, possibly mediated by insects. By utilizing the genomic tools available in A. thaliana to investigate these loci fully, it might be possible to generate detailed evolutionary or ecological models to apply to other species.

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