Lotus japonicus possesses certain characteristics suited to molecular genetic and genomic analyses and has been adopted as a model species in the study of legume plants. To make a catalogue of genes expressed in L. japonicus and understand biological processes specific to legume plants, large scale EST analyses have been performed. To date, more than 26,000 EST sequences of L. japonicus have been deposited in the public databases. These sequences were developed by five laboratories using different organs. In this review, information obtained from two EST projects carried out in Japan is presented. Some 7137 non-redundant EST groups from young plants and 718 groups from flower buds were generated. A similarity search revealed that homologues of nodulin genes in other legume plants, as well as genes related to secondary metabolism, seed development and the reproductive process, were included in the EST collection, indicating the usefulness of the EST clones in the study of biological phenomena distinctive to legume plant species.
- Lotus japonicus