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SCIENTIFIC IMPORTANCE

The family is well known for Arabidopsis thaliana (Linnaeus) Heynhold (thale cress), arguably the most important model organism in experimental biology. The entire genome of this Eurasian weed was sequenced nearly a decade ago (The Arabidopsis Genome Initiative, 2000), and the rapidly expanding knowledge on this organism contributed to a deeper understanding of the biology of all plants. By 2005, well over 20,000 papers had been published on A. thaliana(Mitchell-Olds et al., 2005), and the number has perhaps more than doubled by now. With the knowledge gained through the highly reduced and re-organized genome of A. thaliana, additional research has recently focused on sequencing the entire genomes of related species, such as Arabidopsis lyrata (Linnaeus) O’Kane & Al-Shehbaz, the weedy Capsella rubella Reuter, and crops of the genus Brassica Linnaeus. The family Brassicaceae continues to play a major role in understanding basic developmental biology, chemical and molecular ecology, crop science, population genetics, physiology, comparative genomics, and biochemistry in plants.

 
 
 
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