Lessons from Cleomaceae, the sister of crucifers

Bayat S, Schranz EM, Roalson EH, Hall JC

Trends in Plant Science 23: 808-821.


Cleomaceae is a diverse group well-suited to addressing fundamental genomic and evolutionary questions as the sister group to Brassicaceae, facilitating transfer of knowledge from the model Arabidopsis thaliana. Phylogenetic and taxonomic revisions provide a framework for examining the evolution of substantive morphological and physiology diversity in Cleomaceae, but not necessarily in Brassicaceae. The investigation of both nested and contrasting whole-genome duplications (WGDs) between Cleomaceae and Brassicaceae allows comparisons of independently duplicated genes and investigation of whether they may be drivers of the observed innovations. Further, a wealth of outstanding genetic research has provided insight into how the important alternative carbon fixation pathway, C4 photosynthesis, has evolved via differential expression of a suite of genes, of which the underlying mechanisms are being elucidated.