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Plant J. 2013 Apr;74(2):351-62. doi: 10.1111/tpj.12119. Epub 2013 Mar 4.

Establishment of the Lotus japonicus Gene Expression Atlas (LjGEA) and its use to explore legume seed maturation.

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Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, 2510 Sam Noble Parkway, Ardmore, OK 73401, USA.


Lotus japonicus is a model species for legume genomics. To accelerate legume functional genomics, we developed a Lotus japonicus Gene Expression Atlas (LjGEA), which provides a global view of gene expression in all organ systems of this species, including roots, nodules, stems, petioles, leaves, flowers, pods and seeds. Time-series data covering multiple stages of developing pod and seed are included in the LjGEA. In addition, previously published L. japonicus Affymetrix data are included in the database, making it a 'one-stop shop' for transcriptome analysis of this species. The LjGEA web server ( enables flexible, multi-faceted analyses of the transcriptome. Transcript data may be accessed using the Affymetrix probe identification number, DNA sequence, gene name, functional description in natural language, and GO and KEGG annotation terms. Genes may be discovered through co-expression or differential expression analysis. Users may select a subset of experiments and visualize and compare expression profiles of multiple genes simultaneously. Data may be downloaded in a tabular form compatible with common analytical and visualization software. To illustrate the power of LjGEA, we explored the transcriptome of developing seeds. Genes represented by 36 474 probe sets were expressed at some stage during seed development, and almost half of these genes displayed differential expression during development. Among the latter were 624 transcription factor genes, some of which are orthologs of transcription factor genes that are known to regulate seed development in other species, while most are novel and represent attractive targets for reverse genetics approaches to determine their roles in this important organ.

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