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Synteny Among Solanaceae Genomes
The Solanaceae was among the first plant families to be analyzed via comparative mapping and thus was a pioneer in the realm of synteny studies. Analyses of chromosome content and organization have employed a range of techniques, including linkage mapping of genes and molecular markers, physical mapping via fluorescence in situ hybridization, and sequencing of relatively small genomic segments as well as the complete sequencing of the tomato genome. Early comparisons in the family involved tomato and its close relative potato and have extended outward to include eggplant, pepper, tobacco, and petunia. Not surprisingly, the degree of synteny among these species is a function of the time since their divergence, with inversion, translocation, and transposition being the chief mechanisms of chromosome rearrangement. The results of this work provide important insight into the modes and tempo of plant genome evolution while serving a practical purpose as well: knowledge of genome synteny and colinearity makes it easier to leverage resources from one species to another in this agronomically important family.