Biotech Updates

Scientists Sequence Genome of Medicago

November 18, 2011

The genome of Medicago, a relative of alfalfa and a model for the study of legume biology, has been sequenced by an international team of scientists. Results of the endeavor were published in the journal Nature. They provide a better understanding into the evolution of the Papilionoid subfamily of legumes, which includes peas, soybean and all legumes grown as crops.

"The details of the genome shed new light on Medicago, the plant model that will help unlock the workings of nitrogen fixation we hope within our lifetime," said Professor Giles Oldroyd from the John Innes Centre on Norwich Research Park.

The scientists found in the Medicago genome more NBS-LRR genes, a class of resistance genes, than in any other plant genome to date. "This is potentially a useful resource to exploit," said Oldroyd.

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