W700 Medicago systems genomics

Date: Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Time: 10:37 AM
Room: Sunrise
Michael K. Udvardi , The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Ardmore, OK
Medicago truncatula is a model species for legume research. In addition to a genome sequence that was recently completed, resources that have been developed for Medicago systems biology include a variety of mutant populations, a gene expression atlas for transcriptome analysis, and tools for proteomics and metabolomics. Legumes are unique amongst plants in their ability to form nitrogen-fixing symbioses with bacteria called rhizobia. Symbiotic nitrogen fixation (SNF) takes place in nodules, specialized organs that develop from root cells. Nodules are the primary source of nitrogen for growth of legumes in N-poor soils, but legumes can and do grow without them in high-N soils. As a highly-specialized but dispensable organ, nodules are an ideal model for systems biology. Over the past decade, many mutants have been discovered that disrupt nodule development, differentiation, and/or symbiotic nitrogen fixation, without being lethal to the plant. These mutants have provided insight into processes that regulate development and underpin nodule metabolism. This talk will illustrate how new tools for functional genomics are being used to better understand the nodule system and SNF.