Plant Journal: doi: 10.1111/tpj.1575.
he meadowfoam family (Limnanthaceae) is one of the smallest and genomically underexplored families of the Brassicales. The Limnanthaceae harbor about seven species in the genus Limnanthes (meadowfoam) and Floerkea proserpinacoides (false mermaidweed), all native to North America. Because all Limnanthes and Floerkea species have only five chromosome pairs, i.e. chromosome number rare in Brassicales and shared with Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis), we examined the Limnanthaceae genomes as a potential model system. Using low-coverage whole-genome sequencing data, we reexamined phylogenetic relationships and characterized the repeatomes of Limnanthaceae genomes. Phylogenies based on complete chloroplast and 35S rDNA sequences corroborated the sister relationship between Floerkea and Limnanthes, and two major clades in the latter genus. The genome size of Limnanthaceae species ranges from 1.5 to 2.1 Gb, apparently due to the large increase in DNA repeats, which constitute 60-70% of their genomes. Repeatomes are dominated by LTR retrotransposons, while tandem repeats represent only less than 0.5% of the genomes. The average chromosome size in Limnanthaceae species (340 - 420 Mb) is more than ten times larger than in Arabidopsis (32 Mb). A 3D FISH analysis demonstrated that the five chromosome pairs in interphase nuclei of Limnanthes species adopt the Rabl-like configuration.