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Genetics. 1998 Nov;150(3):1217-28.

Comparative mapping between Arabidopsis thaliana and Brassica nigra indicates that Brassica genomes have evolved through extensive genome replication accompanied by chromosome fusions and frequent rearrangements.

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Department of Plant Biology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, S-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden.


Chromosome organization and evolution in the Brassicaceae family was studied using comparative linkage mapping. A total of 160 mapped Arabidopsis thaliana DNA fragments identified 284 homologous loci covering 751 cM in Brassica nigra. The data support that modern diploid Brassica species are descended from a hexaploid ancestor, and that the A. thaliana genome is similar in structure and complexity to those of each of the hypothetical diploid progenitors of the proposed hexaploid. Thus, the Brassica lineage probably went through a triplication after the divergence of the lineages leading to A. thaliana and B. nigra. These duplications were also accompanied by an exceptionally high rate of chromosomal rearrangements. The average length of conserved segments between A. thaliana and B. nigra was estimated at 8 cM. This estimate corresponds to approximately 90 rearrangements since the divergence of the two species. The estimated rate of chromosomal rearrangements is higher than any previously reported data based on comparative mapping. Despite the large number of rearrangements, fine-scale comparative mapping between model plant A. thaliana and Brassica crops is likely to result in the identification of a large number of genes that affect important traits in Brassica crops.

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