Using translational genomics to underpin germplasm improvement for complex traits in crop legumes

Lead Research Organisation: John Innes Centre
Department Name: Contracts Office


The objective is to create a robust physical map of diploid clover (Trifolium pratense) that will be anchored to the genome sequence of the legume reference species Medicago truncatula, and aligned to the clover genetic map. The anchored physical map will facilitate dissection of biological traits, future genetic improvement and marker assisted breeding in this important legume crop. The proposal will allow comparative analysis across legume species and create a model for translational genomics in crop legumes. Fingerprinting and end-sequencing of BAC clones from an existing red clover library will be used to obtain 2000 BAC contigs and anchor them to the M. truncatula genome using the closest homologue. Cytogenetics will assess the level of coverage of the clover physical map and resolve issues with misaligned contigs. Approximately 70 gene specific molecular markers previously tested in clover will permit an approximate positioning in the M. truncatula genome to be determined. A web accessible clover information resource with the alignment to M. truncatula, and integrated with the alfalfa resource developed in the US will be established. Integration with other databases will allow us to derive conserved orthologous sequence markers from the clover end-sequence tags that can be integrated with their counterparts in M. truncatula and Lotus japonicus.


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