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Lotus japonicus (birdsfoot trefoil)


Lotus japonicus is a model legume used for studies of nitrogen fixing, mycorrhizal symbioses, and other aspects of legume biology. The euchromatic (gene-rich) portion of cultivar Miyakojima MG-20 has been sequenced at the Kazusa DNA Research Institute, and serves as a reference for many other legume species − particularly other species in the Robinieae tribe (containing the fodder plant Sesbania, and the black locust tree); and other "cool-season legumes" such as pea, faba, lentil, clovers, and medics.

Of Special Interest

See the LIS Lotus genome browser, and the browsers and genetic resources at the Kazusa Institute. Also see map views at Kazusa and at NCBI.

NCBI taxon34305
GRIN taxon22722
Nodulation typeDeterminate
Flowering typeShort Day


SpeciesNCBI Taxon ID
Mesorhizobium loti381

Wikipedia entry

Genome Summary

Chromosomes2n = 12
Genome size471 (Mbp)
Chloroplast genome size150.5 (kbp)
Chloroplast NCBI accession numberNC_002694


genetic mapLj marker database at KazusaLinkout »
genetic mapMap view at NCBILinkout »
genome assemblyGenome build 2.5 at Kazusa, including annotationLinkout »
genome browserGBrowse at Kazusa based on genome build 2.5. Provides a gene-scale focusLinkout »
genome browserGBrowse at LIS based on genome build 2.5. Provides a comparative focusLinkout »
otherProteome database at the Center for Biological Sequence AnalysisLinkout »
otherRevGenUK TILLING database at the John Innes CentreLinkout »
otherLj marker database at KazusaLinkout »
otherLj at Legume BaseLinkout »
otherResources at the John Innes CentreLinkout »
otherLotus newsletter at INIA UraguayLinkout »
otherRhizoBase at KazusaLinkout »
publicationsCurrent publications on Lotus japonicus at PubMedLinkout »
transcript assemblyGene index at the Dana-Farber Cancer InstituteLinkout »
transcript assemblyAssemblies at JCVILinkout »
transcript assemblyCurrent UniGene build at NCBILinkout »
transcript assemblyTranscript assemblies at LISLinkout »

Reference Data

Genetic MapGenetic mapsKazusa DNA Res. Inst.Download »
GenomeGenome assembly and associated filesKazusa DNA Res. Inst.Download »

Selected References

Current publications on Lotus japonicus at PubMed.

Tamura M, Tachida H. Evolution of the number of LRRs in plant disease resistance genesMol Genet Genomics. 2011 May; 285(5): 393-402.

Fotelli MN, Tsikou D, Kolliopoulou A, Aivalakis G, Katinakis P, Udvardi MK, Rennenberg H, Flemetakis E. Nodulation enhances dark CO2 fixation and recycling in the model legume Lotus japonicusExp Bot. 2011 May; 62(8): 2959-71.

Wang X, Sato S, Tabata S, Kawasaki S. A high-density linkage map of Lotus japonicus based on AFLP and SSR markersNA Res. 2008 Oct; 15(5): 323-32.

Sato S, Nakamura Y, Kaneko T, Asamizu E, Kato T, Nakao M, Sasamoto S, Watanabe A, Ono A, Kawashima K, Fujishiro T, Katoh M, Kohara M, Kishida Y, Minami C, Nakayama S, Nakazaki N, Shimizu Y, Shinpo S, Takahashi C, Wada T, Yamada M, Ohmido N, Hayashi M, Fukui K, Baba T, Nakamichi T, Mori H, Tabata S. Genome structure of the legume, Lotus japonicus. DNA Res. 2008 Aug; 15(4): 227-39.

Hougaard BK, Madsen LH, Sandal N, de Carvalho Moretzsohn M, Fredslund J, Schauser L, Nielsen AM, Rohde T, Sato S, Tabata S, Bertioli DJ, Stougaard J. Legume anchor markers link syntenic regions between Phaseolus vulgaris, Lotus japonicus, Medicago truncatula and Arachis. Genetics. 2008 Aug; 179(4): 2299-312.

Sato S, Tabata S. Lotus japonicus as a platform for legume researchCurr Opin Plant Biol. 2006 Apr; 9(2): 128-32.

Udvardi MK, Tabata S, Parniske M, Stougaard J. Lotus japonicus: legume research in the fast laneTrends Plant Sci. 2005 May; 10(5): 222-8.

Young ND, Cannon SB, Sato S, Kim D, Cook DR, Town CD, Roe BA, Tabata S. Sequencing the genespaces of Medicago truncatula and Lotus japonicusPlant Physiol. 2005 April; 137(4): 1174–1181.

Desbrosses GG, Kopka J, Udvarti MK. Lotus japonicus metabolic profiling. Development of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry resources for the study of plant-microbe interactionsPlant Physiol. 2005 April; 137(4): 1302–1318.

Kouchi H, Shimomura K, Hata S, Hirota A, Wu GJ, Kumagai H, Tajima S, Suganuma N, Suzuki A, Aoki T, Hayashi M, Yokoyama T, Ohyama T, Asamizu E, Kuwata C, Shibata D, Tabata S. Large-scale analysis of gene expression profiles during early stages of root nodule formation in a model legume, Lotus japonicusDNA Res. 2004 Aug 31; 11(4): 263-74.

Kato T, Kaneko T, Sato S. Nakamura Y, Tabata S. Complete structure of the chloroplast genome of a legume, Lotus japonicus. DNA Res. 2000 323-330.