Legume genomes: More than peas in a pod

Nevin Dale Young, Joann Mudge, T. H.Noel Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


A growing array of sequence-based tools is helping to reveal the organization, evolution and syntenic relationships of legume genomes. The results indicate that legumes form a coherent taxonomic group with frequent and widespread macro- and microsynteny. This is good news for two model legume systems, Medicago truncatula and Lotus japonicus. Indeed, both models have recently been used to clone and characterize genes for nodulation-related receptors that were originally described in legumes with more complex genomes. Studies of legume genomes have also provided insight into genome size, gene clustering, genome duplications and repetitive elements. To understand legume genomes better, it will be necessary to develop tools for studying under-represented taxa beyond the relatively small group of economically important species that have been examined so far.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-204
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Plant Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Steve Cannon and Graham Moore for their helpful suggestions on the manuscript. NDY and JM acknowledge the support of National Science Foundation grants DBI-0196179 and DBI-0110206. THNE acknowledges the support of EU projects TEGERM (QLK-CT-2000-01502) and MEDICAGO (QLG2-CT-2000-30676).


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