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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Gallardo, Karine - INRA, DIJON FRANCE
item Lesignor, Christine - INRA, DIJON FRANCE
item Darmency, Mona - INRA, DIJON FRANCE
item Burstin, Judith - INRA, DIJON FRANCE
item Thompson, Richard - INRA, DIJON FRANCE
item Rochat, Christine - INRA, VERSAILLES FRANCE
item Boutin, Jean-Pierre - INRA, VERSAILLES FRANCE
item Kuester, Helge - BIELEFELD UNIV, GERMANY
item Buitink, Julia - INRA, ANGERS FRANCE
item Leprince, Olivier - INRA, ANGERS FRANCE
item Limami, Anis - INRA, ANGERS FRANCE
item Grusak, Michael

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: September 28, 2006
Publication Date: December 5, 2006
Citation: Gallardo, K., Lesignor, C., Darmency, M., Burstin, J., Thompson, R., Rochat, C., Boutin, J., Kuester, H., Buitink, J., Leprince, O., Limami, A., Grusak, M.A. 2006. Seed biology of Medicago truncatula. In: Mathesius, U., editor. The Medicago truncatula Handbook. Ardmore, OK: The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation. Available:

Technical Abstract: The seed of Medicago truncatula have morphological features typical of dicotyledons, and are borne in a spine-covered spiral pod. The cotyledons are rich in protein (35-45%), the major storage molecule. They accumulate approximately 10% lipids and only traces of starch. The most abundant proteins are homologous to the globulin storage proteins of other legumes. The remainder of the dry weight is mainly composed of cell wall material and complex polysaccharides of the raffinose family. The seed contains a residual endosperm constituting about 10% of the final seed mass. The embryo acquires desiccation tolerance by 12 DAP and afterwards is capable of germinating. Metabolite profiling in the endosperm, seed coat and embryo along with global approaches, such as transcriptomics and proteomics, were used to allow the dissection of molecular processes underlying seed development. An in vitro culture system has been developed allowing comparison of cotyledon development with or without the surrounding maternal seed tissues. Mature seeds exhibit dormancy that can be overcome, e.g., by scarifying the seed. Seed size, seed dormancy, and pod morphology are characters varying greatly between Medicago species, and characterization of genetic variability for these traits within M. truncatula is underway in several laboratories.

Last Modified: 8/24/2016
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