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Lotus japonicus’s a model system

  • Eloísa Pajuelo
  • Jens StougaardEmail author

Abstract

Lotus japonicus was proposed as a model legume twelve years ago, because of a number of characteristics making this system very amenable for legume research. These characteristics include small plant, large and abundant flowers, easy hand pollination, high seed production, short generation time, easy cultivation, amenable to plant transformation and regeneration from tissue culture. At present, a set of genetic resources and tools has rapidly become available, including ecotypes, mutant lines, genetic maps, RIL lines, transformation procedures, EST sequences, and a whole genome-sequencing project. In these twelve years, research on L. japonicus has greatly contributed to the understanding of both symbiotic processes, i.e. with Rhizobium and mycorrhiza, making possible the cloning of several key genes involved in both symbioses. Now Lotus is regarded as one of the most useful plants for legume study and researchers who have interests in nodulation and other aspects of legume biology use it worldwide. In this introductory chapter we deal with the most general aspects and possibilities of the biology of L. japonicus, plant growth conditions, culture media, nitrogen supply and symbiotic partners; plant tissue culture; genetic transformation and regeneration of transgenic plants, contribution to the understanding of symbiotic processes and the role of this model plant for other research topics and exploiting microsynteny.

Keywords

Model legume Lotus symbiosis ecotype microsynteny 

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© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of PharmacyUniversity of Sevilla, Prof. García González s/nSevillaSpain
  2. 2.Laboratory of Gene Expression, Department of Molecular BiologyUniversity of AarhusAarhus CDenmark

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