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Medicago truncatula project

Welcome to the medicago genome database

Why sequence Medicago truncatula?


Legumes are important crop plants world-wide

With 650 genera and over 16'000 species, legumes are second only to grasses in economic importance in world agriculture.Legumes can be found all over the world; species as soybean in Asia, beans in America and chickpea in the Near East belong to the legume plant family. Medicago truncatula serves as a model organism for the legumes plant family.


Medicago is a major model organism for plant biology

Legumes are unique in their ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen (due to the formation of root nodules in which they house symbiotic bacteria, Rhizobia). In contrast to Arabidopsis, Medicago also has the capacity to establish the formation of endomycorrhizae (root endosymbiosis, important in plant mineral nutrition). The importance of legumes to global agriculture and the need to understand these important biological functions not found in existing plant models make M.truncatula exceptionally interesting for sequencing.


The Medicago truncatula genome is a small sized plant genome

Medicago truncatula has a comparatively small genome with 500-550Mbp total and 200-250Mbp to be sequenced in gene-rich euchromatic regions. Moreover, M.truncatula has a simple diploid genome with 2x8 chromosomes and is self-fertile with a short seed-to-seed generation time.