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Medicago truncatula (barrel medic)


Medicago truncatula, native to the Mediterranean region, is a member of the galegoid (cool-season legume) clade within the legume sub-family Papilionoideae. Among many other features, its small diploid genome has made it a model system for legume biology. It is also an important forage crop species in Australia. Its sister species (M. sativa) i.e. alfalfa is the most important forage legume crop worldwide and 3rd most valuable crop in USA ($8 billion per annum).

Of Special Interest

See the LIS genome browser, and the browser at JCVI, hapmap resources at medicagohapmap.org, and maps and comparisons via the LIS maps page.

NCBI taxon3880
GRIN taxon23705
Nodulation typeIndeterminate
Flowering typeLong Day

Flowers are yellow, produced singly or in a small inflorescence of 2-5 together.

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Mating systemPredominately Inbreeding


SpeciesNCBI Taxon ID
Sinorhizobium medicae110321
Sinorhizobium meliloti382
arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi

Wikipedia entry

Genome Summary

M. truncatula has a small diploid genome. The euchromatic (gene-rich) portion of Medicago truncatula subspecies truncatula cultivar A17 (Jemalong) has been sequenced BAC by BAC (Sanger) and partially supplemented with an assembly of Illumina/Solexa short paired-end reads.

Chromosomes2n = 16
Genome size470 (Mbp)

Bennett MD, Leitch IJ. Royal Botanical Gardens angiosperm DNA C-values database (release 7.0, Dec. 2010)

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GC content genome~35%
Chloroplast genome size124 (kbp)

124,033 bp M. truncatula chloroplast, complete genome. GI:17570783, PLN 15-APR-2009

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Chloroplast NCBI accession numberNC_003119


1a. Assembly: genomic (pseudomolecules)Build version 3.5.1Linkout »
1b. Assembly: genomic (BACs)2,533 BACsLinkout »
1c. Assembly: transcriptGene index at DFCILinkout »
1d. Assembly: transcriptTranscript assembly at JCVILinkout »
2a. Annotation: protein coding genesFormats: fasta, MIPS-GFF, TIGR-XMLLinkout »
2b. Annotation: transposable elementsFormat: MIPS-GFFLinkout »
3a. Genome browser: gene focusGBrowse at JCVI based on builds 3.0 and 3.5.1Linkout »
3b. Genome browser: comparative focusGBrowse at LIS based on build 3.5.1Linkout »
3c. Genome browser: SNPs & haplotype focusGBrowse at Medicago HapMap based on build 3.0Linkout »
4a. Genetic map & markersmarkers: cM position, associated BAC, primersLinkout »
4b. Genetic map & markersNCBI map viewerLinkout »
5a. Gene expressionGene expression atlas (MtGEA)Linkout »
5b. Gene expressionAffymetrix - GeneChip┬« Medicago Genome ArrayLinkout »
5c. Gene expressionTRUNCATULIX at Bielefeld DELinkout »
6. STSBAC end sequencesLinkout »

Reference Data

Selected References

Current publications on Medicago truncatula at PubMed.

Zhai J, Jeong DH, De Paoli E, Park S, Rosen BD, Li Y, González AJ, Yan Z, Kitto SL, Grusak MA, Jackson SA, Stacey G, Cook DR, Green PJ, Sherrier DJ, Meyers BC. MicroRNAs as master regulators of the plant NB-LRR defense gene family via the production of phased, trans-acting siRNAs. Genes Dev. 2011 Dec 1;25(23):2540-53.

Young ND, Debellé F, Oldroyd GE, Geurts R, Cannon SB, Udvardi MK, Benedito VA, Mayer KF, Gouzy J, Schoof H, Van de Peer Y, Proost S, Cook DR, Meyers BC, Spannagl M, Cheung F, De Mita S, Krishnakumar V, Gundlach H, Zhou S, Mudge J, Bharti AK, Murray JD, Naoumkina MA, Rosen B, Silverstein KA, Tang H, Rombauts S, Zhao PX, Zhou P, Barbe V, Bardou P, Bechner M, Bellec A, Berger A, Bergès H, Bidwell S, Bisseling T, Choisne N, Couloux A, Denny R, Deshpande S, Dai X, Doyle JJ, Dudez AM, Farmer AD et al. The Medicago genome provides insight into evolution of rhizobial symbiosis. Nature 2011; Nov 16. doi: 10.1038/nature10625. [Epub ahead of print]

Wang F, Dong Q, Jiang H, Zhu S, Chen B, Xiang Y. Genome-wide analysis of the heat shock transcription factors in Populus trichocarpa and Medicago truncatula. Mol Biol Rep 2011 May 29. [Epub ahead of print]

Henckel K, Küster H, Stutz LJ, Goesmann A. MediPlEx - a tool to combine in silico & experimental gene expression profiles of the model legume Medicago truncatula. BMC Res Notes 2010; 3: 262.

Cheng X, Wen J, Tadege M, Ratet P, Mysore KS. Reverse genetics in Medicago truncatula using Tnt1 insertion mutants. Methods Mol Biol 2011; 678: 179-90.

He J, Benedito VA, Wang M, Murray JD, Zhao PX, Tang Y, Udvardi MK. The Medicago truncatula gene expression atlas web server. BMC Bioinformatics 2009; 10: 441.

Benedito VA, Li H, Dai X, Wandrey M, He J, Kaundal R, Torres-Jerez I, Gomez SK, Harrison MJ, Tang Y, Zhao PX, Udvardi MK. Genomic inventory and transcriptional analysis of Medicago truncatula transporters. Plant Physiol 2010; 152: 1716-30.

Lelandais-Brière C, Naya L, Sallet E, Calenge F, Frugier F, Hartmann C, Gouzy J, Crespi M. Genome-wide Medicago truncatula small RNA analysis revealed novel microRNAs and isoforms differentially regulated in roots and nodules. Plant Cell 2009; 21: 2780-96.

Young ND, Udvardi M. Translating Medicago truncatula genomics to crop legumes. Curr Opin Plant Biol 2009; 12: 193-201.

Bertioli DJ, Moretzsohn MC, Madsen LH, Sandal N, Leal-Bertioli SC, Guimarães PM, Hougaard BK, Fredslund J, Schauser L, Nielsen AM, Sato S, Tabata S, Cannon SB, Stougaard J. An analysis of synteny of Arachis with Lotus and Medicago sheds new light on the structure, stability and evolution of legume genomes. BMC Genomics 2009; 10: 45.

Hougaard BK, Madsen LH, Sandal N, de Carvalho Moretzsohn M, Fredslund J, Schauser L, Nielsen AM, Rohde T, Sato S, Tabata S, Bertioli DJ, Stougaard J. Legume anchor markers link syntenic regions between Phaseolus vulgaris, Lotus japonicus, Medicago truncatula and Arachis. Genetics 2008; 179: 2299-312.

Wang H, Liu JS. LTR retrotransposon landscape in Medicago truncatula: more rapid removal than in rice. BMC Genomics 2008; 9: 382.

Benedito VA, Torres-Jerez I, Murray JD, Andriankaja A, Allen S, Kakar K, Wandrey M, Verdier J, Zuber H, Ott T, Moreau S, Niebel A, Frickey T, Weiller G, He J, Dai X, Zhao PX, Tang Y, Udvardi MK. A gene expression atlas of the model legume Medicago truncatula. Plant J 2008; 55: 504-13.