Extreme morphological diversity in Brassica’s

Extreme morphological diversity in Brassica’s

Wide variation for morphological/developmental and nutritional traits exists in both B. rapa and B. oleracea and the genetic basis of this variation is largely unknown. Our goal is to unravel the genetic regulation of this extreme (morphological) diversity.

This generates fundamental knowledge on domestication traits and very important information for Plant Breeders to select desired phenotypes. We recently demonstrated that the triplicated nature of the Brassica genome facilitated domestication of this extreme variation. Analysis of genome resequencing data of B. rapa and B. oleracea resulted in the identification of domestication signals or selective sweeps for both leafy head formation of cabbages and tubers of turnips and kohlrabi’s.  This illustrated that subgenome parallel selection is associated with morphotype diversification and convergent crop domestication in the two species B. rapa and B. oleracea (turnips/kohlrabi and heading cabbages).

See also


  • Role of the Brassica rapa Auxin response factor 3-2 (BrARF3-2) gene in leafy head formation of Chinese cabbage (China Exchange Project)
  • Elucidation of the genome sequence and evolutionary relationships between 1000 B. oleracea genotypes representing cauliflowers, broccoli’s, kohlrabi’s, cabbages and Brussels sprouts (TKI)
  • Flowering time regulation in Brassica species by ambient
    Temperatures: “ThermoFlow II” (TKI)
  • Unlocking the wealth of variation in leaves from B. oleracea vegetables by high through put phenotyping (ZonMW in collaboration with Horticulture Production Chains)