Arabidopsis lyrata

Taxonomy Eukaryota; Viridiplantae; Streptophyta; Streptophytina; Embryophyta; Tracheophyta; Euphyllophyta; Spermatophyta; Magnoliophyta; eudicotyledons; core eudicotyledons; rosids; eurosids II; Brassicales; Brassicaceae; Arabidopsis


Arabidopsis lyrata is the closest well-characterized relative of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, thought to have separated ~5 mya. A. lyrata is an outcrossing diploid unlike A. thaliana which is a selfing species, and has stable and spatially restricted populations or subspecies whereas A. thaliana is a widespread invasive species. The genome of A. lyrata is 1.5-2 times larger than that of A. thaliana, and it has 8 chromosomes (A. thaliana has 5). Plant genomes appear to evolve much faster and in a more dynamic way compared to those of animals, and the whole genome sequence of A. lyrata (and Capsella rubella) will enable evolutionary and comparative genomic studies in that have previously not been possible in plants. For instance, identifying changes in genes/genomes related to the adaptation of these species, or their phenotypic, ecological differences will be especially of interest to many researchers.

Our Involvement

We are involved in the genome project of A. lyrata, together with many other international groups, and we are also part of the ARelatives project, which studies genetic variation, species-specific adaptation, and evolution of Arabidopsis and close relatives. We are responsible for various bioinformatics aspects of the projects, and have been involved in the genome annotation of A. lyrata, and we also assisted the assembly process. We are especially interested in understanding the evolutionary process of the genes and genomes of these species. Some of the topics we are/will be working on are, the recent duplication and deletion of genes, the expansion/contraction of gene families, recent rearrangements and genomic deletions and the mechanisms behind them.

In collaboration with:



Fawcett, J., Rouzé, P., Van de Peer, Y. (2012) Higher intron loss rate in Arabidopsis thaliana than A. lyrata is consistent with stronger selection for a smaller genome. Mol. Biol. Evol. 29(2):849-59.


* Hu, T.T., * Pattyn, P., Bakker, E.G., Cao, J., Cheng, Y.-Y., Clarck, R.M., Fahlgren, N., Fawcette, J., Grimwood, J., Gundlach, H., Haberer, G., Hollister, J.D., Ossowski, S., Ottilar, R.P., Salamov, A., Schneeberger, K., Spannagl, M., Wang, X., Yang, L., Nasrallah, M.E., Bergelson, J., Carrington, J.C., Gaut, B.S., Schmutz, J., Mayer, K., Van de Peer, Y., Grigoriev, I., Nordborg, M., Weigel, D., Guo, Y-L. (2011) The Arabidopsis lyrata genome sequence and the basis of rapid genome size change. Nat. Genet. 43(5):476-81. *contributed equally

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Bioinformatics & Evolutionary Genomics
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