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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2009 Apr;12(2):193-201. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2008.11.005. Epub 2009 Jan 21.

Translating Medicago truncatula genomics to crop legumes.

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Department of Plant Pathology, 495 Borlaug Hall, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA.


Genomic resources developed in the model legume, Medicago truncatula, have the potential to accelerate practical advances in crop legumes. M. truncatula is closely related to many economically important legumes, frequently displaying genome-scale synteny. Translating genome data from M. truncatula should be highly effective in marker development, gene discovery, and positional cloning in crop legumes. The M. truncatula genome sequence also provides valuable insights about gene families of practical importance, especially those that are legume-specific. The M. truncatula genome sequence should also simplify the assembly of next-generation sequence data in closely related taxa, especially alfalfa. Genomic resources, such as whole-genome arrays, make it possible to pursue detailed questions about gene expression in both M. truncatula and related crop species, while tagged mutant populations simplify the process of determining gene function.

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