Compact genomes and complex evolution in the genus Brachypodium

Elzbieta Wolny, Karolina Lesniewska, Robert Hasterok, Timothy Langdon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


The temperate annual grass Brachypodium distachyon is a diploid species with a chromosome base number of 5. It is strikingly different from other Eurasian species of the genus, which are perennial and often polyploid, with the diploids typically having base numbers of 8 or 9. Previously, phylogenies indicated that B. distachyon split from the other species early in the evolution of the genus, while its genome sequence revealed that extensive synteny on a chromosomal scale had been maintained with rice, a tropical grass with a base number of 12. Here we show evidence that B. distachyon may have a homoploid origin, involving ancestral interspecific hybridisation, although it does not appear to be a component of any of the perennial Eurasian allopolyploids. Using a cytogenetic approach, we show that dysploidy in Brachypodium has not followed a simple progression.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-212
Number of pages14
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2011


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