Medicago truncatula as a model legume
Legumes are a very large and diverse family of plants, that include a number of important crop species. Historically most of the science has been undertaken in the major legume crop species, such as pea and soybean. However, these studies are limited by the tractability of these species. Medicago truncatula has been adopted as a model plant for the study of legume biology. This species was chosen for a number of key criteria: diploid genetics; small genome (c. 500 Mb); ease of transformation; short lifecycle and high levels of natural diversity. Furthermore, the bacterial symbiont of Medicago truncatula has been studied for many years and the genome of this organism has been sequenced. Medicago truncatula is now being studied in a large number of laboratories across the globe and the genetic and genomic tools are rapidly expanding.
The Medicago page:
Other Medicago links:
Sinorhizobium meliloti links: