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The genome sequence of Barbarea vulgaris facilitates the study of ecological biochemistry

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Stephen L. Byrne, Pernille Østerbye Erthmann, Niels Agerbirk, Søren Bak, Thure Pavlo Hauser, Istvan Nagy, Cristiana Paina, Torben Asp

The genus Barbarea has emerged as a model for evolution and ecology of plant defense compounds,
due to its unusual glucosinolate profile and production of saponins, unique to the Brassicaceae. One
species, B. vulgaris, includes two ‘types’, G-type and P-type that differ in trichome density, and their
glucosinolate and saponin profiles. A key difference is the stereochemistry of hydroxylation of their
common phenethylglucosinolate backbone, leading to epimeric glucobarbarins. Here we report a draft
genome sequence of the G-type, and re-sequencing of the P-type for comparison. This enables us to
identify candidate genes underlying glucosinolate diversity, trichome density, and study the genetics
of biochemical variation for glucosinolate and saponins. B. vulgaris is resistant to the diamondback
moth, and may be exploited for “dead-end” trap cropping where glucosinolates stimulate oviposition
and saponins deter larvae to the extent that they die. The B. vulgaris genome will promote the study of
mechanisms in ecological biochemistry to benefit crop resistance breeding.
Original languageEnglish
Article number40728
JournalScientific Reports
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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