Capsella rubella

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


Capsella is the closest well-characterized genus of Arabidopsis, probably separated 6-10 mya. C. rubella, whose genome is being sequenced, is a selfing diploid, unlike another well studied species C. bursa-pastoris, which is a selfing tetraploid. Plant genomes appear to evolve much faster and in a more dynamic way compared to those of animals, and the whole genome sequence of C. rubella (together with A. lyrata) will enable evolutionary and comparative genomic studies 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 differences will be especially of interest to many researchers. The genome of C. rubella will also be very useful as an outgroup to determine whether certain changes occurred in A. thaliana or A. lyrata.

Our Involvement

We are involved in the genome project of C. rubella, 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 are involved in the genome annotation of C. rubella. 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:


VIB / UGent
Bioinformatics & Evolutionary Genomics
Technologiepark 927
B-9052 Gent
+32 (0) 9 33 13807 (phone)
+32 (0) 9 33 13809 (fax)

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