BrassiBase: Introduction to a novel knowledge database on Brassicaceae evolution

Kiefer M, Schmickl R, German DA, Mandáková T, Lysak MA, Al-Shehbaz IA, Franzke A, Mummenhoff K, Stamatakis A, and Koch MA

Plant & Cell Physiology 55: e3.


The Brassicaceae family (mustards or crucifers) includes Arabidopsis thaliana as one of the most important model species in plant biology and a number of important crop plants such as the various Brassica species (e.g. cabbage, canola and mustard). Moreover, the family comprises an increasing number of species that serve as study systems in many fields of plant science and evolutionary research. However, the systematics and taxonomy of the family are very complex and access to scientifically valuable and reliable information linked to species and genus names and its interpretation are often difficult. BrassiBase is a continuously developing and growing knowledge database ( that aims at providing direct access to many different types of information ranging from taxonomy and systematics to phylo- and cytogenetics. Providing critically revised key information, the database intends to optimize comparative evolutionary research in this family and supports the introduction of the Brassicaceae as the model family for evolutionary biology and plant sciences. Some features that should help to accomplish these goals within a comprehensive taxonomic framework have now been implemented in the new version 1.1.9. A ‘Phylogenetic Placement Tool’ should help to identify critical accessions and germplasm and provide a first visualization of phylogenetic relationships. The ‘Cytogenetics Tool’ provides in-depth information on genome sizes, chromosome numbers and polyploidy, and sets this information into a Brassicaceae-wide context.