• The genome sequence of Barbarea vulgaris facilitates the study of ecological biochemistry

      Byrne, Stephen; Østerbye Erthmann, Pernille; Agerbirk, Niels; Bak, Søren; Hauser, Thure Pavlo; Nagy, Istvan; Paina, Cristiana; Asp, Torben; Danish Council for Independent Research; 09–065899; et al. (Nature, 2017-01-17)
      The genus Barbarea has emerged as a model for evolution and ecology of plant defense compounds, due to its unusual glucosinolate profile and production of saponins, unique to the Brassicaceae. One species, B. vulgaris, includes two ‘types’, G-type and P-type that differ in trichome density, and their glucosinolate and saponin profiles. A key difference is the stereochemistry of hydroxylation of their common phenethylglucosinolate backbone, leading to epimeric glucobarbarins. Here we report a draft genome sequence of the G-type, and re-sequencing of the P-type for comparison. This enables us to identify candidate genes underlying glucosinolate diversity, trichome density, and study the genetics of biochemical variation for glucosinolate and saponins. B. vulgaris is resistant to the diamondback moth, and may be exploited for “dead-end” trap cropping where glucosinolates stimulate oviposition and saponins deter larvae to the extent that they die. The B. vulgaris genome will promote the study of mechanisms in ecological biochemistry to benefit crop resistance breeding.