Arabidopsis relatives

Although resources ranging from ecological to genomic are available for a large number of Brassicaceae, few of these are considered eXtremophytes.  Separate pages and resource links are available for each of those listed in the “Species” menu in the sidebar.

Most of the species currently “in use” were selected because tools originally developed for Arabidopsis thaliana work, at least to some extent, with them.  They are all small, “rapidly” cycling, and growable in Petri-dishes at lab light levels. They all seem to have white petals, if they have any petals at all. And within however many chromosomes they sport, the genes are lined up in identifiable blocks highly similar to A. thaliana.

On the other hand, there is more variation in their genome sizes and arrangement on chromosomes.  Some (e.g. Schrenkiella parvula) are no larger than A. thaliana.

Arabidopsis halleri –  is a self-incompatible heavy metal hyperaccumulator, especially for cadmium and zinc.  Its broad European and Asian distribution also makes A. halleri a useful model for ecological genomics studies, and its interfertility with A. lyrata makes the two species good tools for understanding evolution of heavy metal tolerance.

 Arabidopsis lyrata –  eXtreme plant bona fides stem from its preference for sandy, gravelly, rocky or chasmophytic “soil”.  At the molecular level, its value toward understanding of mutation, selection and genome-size transformations in plants.

Eutrema salsuginea – originally selected as a model organism because of its ability, in the natural world, to function in saline, cold, and freezing conditions, and for its efficient mobilization of resources in poor or degraded soils.

Schrenkiella parvula – originally selected as a model organism because of its ability, in the natural world, to function in the hypersaline conditions surrounding Lake Tuz in central Anatolia, Turkey. It is otherwise notable for its tolerance of high levels of other cations, especially Li+ and Mg2+.  Little is known about the ecology of this species.