Submitted to: Canadian Journal of Plant Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/24/2005
Publication Date: 4/26/2006
Citation: Sullivan, M.L., Thoma, S.L. 2006. Cloning, molecular characterization, and expression analysis of red clover cDNAs. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 86(2):465-468.
Interpretive Summary: Red clover is an important forage legume for dairy production. Despite this importance, little is know about red clover genes. We developed an undergraduate cell and molecular biology laboratory project in which students determined and analyzed red clover gene sequences. The project was designed to provide undergraduate students with hands-on molecular biology experience as well as collect information about red clover genes. In total, ten genes sequences were analyzed and deposited in a publicly accessible database (Genbank). Nine of the genes correspond to proteins located in the chloroplast, the site of photosynthesis (the process by which plants convert light to chemical energy) in plant cells. The analyzed red clover genes have median identities of 73% and 92%, respectively, to the corresponding genes of the model plants Arabidopsis thaliana and Medicago trucatula. The high degree of similarity between red clover and M. trucatula genes suggest that genetic tools being developed for this model legume may be useful in analyses of red clover. The data resulting from this study will be useful to scientists examining the evolutionary relationships of plants, those wishing to develop molecular genetic tools for red clover, and those interested in chloroplast and photosynthetic proteins. Additionally, the approach of having undergraduate biology students generate primary scientific data and the related methodologies will be of interest to biology educators.
Technical Abstract: Several red clover cDNAs were sequenced and used in RNA blotting experiments. The analyzed genes had a median sequence identity of 92% with their counterparts from the model legume Medicago truncatula, suggesting its available genomics tools can be applied to red clover. This set of cDNAs and associated data are proving useful as controls in molecular genetic experiments involving red clover.