Reset Examples

The search field accepts scientific plant names, i. e. names of genera or Brassicaceae tribes.


  • Camelineae — will find information about all member genera of tribe Camelineae.
  • Arabidopsis — will find information about the genus Arabidopsis.

After having typed 3 characters, you'll be provided with suggestions from the database.

Export options

Export diagram.

Diagram as SVG

Browser view
Scalable Vector Graphics: a graphics format suitable for import into many graphics programs e. g. Adobe, Corel, Inkscape...
"Comma-separated values": a data format suitable for import into most spreadsheet and database programs. The column separator used here is the semicolon. Character coding is UTF-8.
A format commonly used in phylogenetics to represent a tree structure as nested brackets.
"American standard code for information interchange": the name can be used almost synonymously with "plain text", also including a very limited graphics capability.
A format commonly used to store alignments along with meta-information, e. g. analysis parameters. Used e. g. by PAUP* and MrBayes.
Probably due to its simplicity the most frequently used sequence or alignment format ever designed. Used by a vast majority of bioinformatics programs and packages.
Widely used alignment format. Required as input by many bioinformatics programs. The interleaved version is exported here. Unfortunately very limited meta-information capabilities.
The alignment format originally used by the GCG Wisconsin bioinformatics package (e. g. Pileup). Still widely used as an alignment format.
The format used by Clustal (and some other programs) to store alignments.

Morphology plotter

Click on the trait list to the left to select morphologic properties within the Brassicaceae family.

Mouse over the paintbrush symbols () to choose colors for your property of interest.

Bar graphs will be added to the phylogenetic diagram, visualizing the amount of genera per tribe where species exhibit a given property.

By clicking on the percent symbol () you can switch to a simpler "present/absent" type of view.


Species Checklist v1.3

Morphology Tool


Although Brassicaceae are morphologically well-defined and easily distinguishable from any other angiosperm family by their general and little variable flower architecture (almost always 4 sepals, 4 petals, 4+2 stamens, 2 fused carpels) and fruit characteristics (siliques or silicles, which can be also compressed in two different ways), infra-familiar grouping based on morphological characters often failed on higher taxonomic levels such as tribes and often even on a genus level. In the past this situation often resulted in a circumscription of paraphyletic taxa.

As a consequence, there is no “backbone set” of characters to be selected a-priori and to be studied across the entire family. Traditionally, in Brassicaceae characters have been elaborated on to describe, characterize and determine morphological variation on species and genus level, but not to compare systematically between genera or other higher order taxonomic units.

Furthermore, any taxonomical concept from the past and preceding molecular systematics (e.g., Janchen, 1942; Hayek, 1911; Schulz, 1936) until the late 1990th turned out to be highly artificial and very often did not define monophyletic groups correctly (Koch et al., 2003). But this also implies that past concepts scoring different characters are not biased a-priori by a phylogenetically-constraint character selection.

The given phylogenetic framework is based on a robust and significant “maternal perspective” (Hohmann et al., 2015; Guo et al., 2017), however, it should be noted that there is some conflictual signal compared to phylogenetic analysis based on nuclear genes (e.g., Huang et al., 2016), with its evolutionary-biological meaning not solved yet.

Characters and their states have been scored in the past very carefully and in particular on genus level. They comprise a comprehensive character set reflecting our awareness of variable character among Brassicaceae species and genera. However, characters often used numerous character states (up to 17) or combined characters from stem, leaves, flowers and fruits. Therefore, it is not recommended to use the raw data for respective evolutionary analysis.

Therefore, we developed a new morphological data matrix with reduced complexity of coded characters and their states in a more applicable manner to study characters and their evolution, which will be released here soon.

  • Guo X, Liu J, Hao G, Zhang L, Mao K, Wang X, Zhang D, Ma T, Hu Q, Al-Shehbaz IA, Koch MA. 2017. Plastome phylogeny and early diversification of Brassicaceae. BMC Genomics 18(1): e176. DOI: 10.1186/s12864-017-3555-3
  • Hayek A. 1911. Entwurf eines Cruciferen-Systems auf phylogenetischer Grundlage. Beih. Bot. Centralbl. 27: 127–335.
  • Hohmann N, Wolf EM, Lysak MA, Koch MA. 2015. A time-calibrated road map of Brassicaceae species radiation and evolutionary history. Plant Cell 27(10): 2270–2284. DOI: 10.1105/tpc.15.00482.
  • Huang CH, Sun R, Hu Y, Zeng L, Zhang N, Cai L, Zhang Q, Koch MA, Al-Shehbaz I, Edger PP, Pires JC, Tan DY, Zhong Y, Ma H. 2016. Resolution of Brassicaceae phylogeny using nuclear genes uncovers nested radiations and supports convergent morphological evolution. Mol. Biol. Evol. 33(2): 394–412. DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msv226.
  • Janchen E. 1942. Das System der Cruciferen. Österr. Bot. Z. 91: 1–28.
  • Koch M, Mummenhoff K, Al-Shehbaz IA. 2003. Molecular systematics, evolution, and population biology in the mustard family (Brassicaceae): A review of a decade of studies. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 90(2): 151–171.
  • Schulz OE. 1936. Cruciferae. In: Engler A, Harms H. (Eds.) Die natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien. Ed. 2, vol. 17b. Englemann, Leipzig, Pp. 227–658.

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