Medicago truncatula has emerged as one of the two model systems for legume species.
The Medicago truncatula
consortium (supported by US National Science Foundation and Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation in the USA, and in Europe, mainly by the European Union) has made significant achievements in genome and EST sequencing with a goal of completion of the gene space in 2008 [1
]. The amount of information gained from the sequencing will assist studies related to gene function discovery. At the moment three complementary strategies have been chosen to create large mutant collections in M. truncatula
: transposon tagging, fast neutron mutagenesis and TILLING. T-DNA tagging, one of the most popular strategies in Arabidopsis
, did not represent the best option for M. truncatula
because of the lack of a high throughput transformation system [2
]. A population of more than 7600 Tnt1
lines was recently published [4
] and is being developed as a public resource at the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation http://www.noble.org
. Functional genomics platforms are also available in Europe at the John Innes Genome Laboratory http://jicgenomelab.co.uk/
which, at the moment, provides access to a large population of deletion tilled lines and tilled lines for reverse genetic screening. Both resources were established during the course of the project "GLIP": Grain Legumes Integrated Project, funded by the European Union http://www.eugrainlegume.com
. In addition a large Tnt1
collection (approximately 8000 plants) was established in the Jemalong 2HA background during the same project [5
]. In the present paper we will report on three M. truncatula
mutant collections established in Italy and of their potential benefits to the international scientific community for functional genomic studies. The collections were produced in the frame of the Italian functional genomics project "Post-Genomics of Forage Legumes RBNE018BHE" sponsored by the Italian Ministry of University and Research-Funds for Basic Research (MUR/FIRB).