Comparison of genome structure between white clover and Medicago truncatula supports homoeologous group nomenclature based on conserved synteny

Genome. 2008 Nov;51(11):905-11. doi: 10.1139/G08-076.


Computational analysis has been used to align the genetic map of white clover (Trifolium repens L.) with the draft genome sequence of the model legume species Medicago truncatula Gaertn. In silico comparison based on white clover expressed sequence tags that contain simple sequence repeat loci revealed substantial macrosynteny between the genomes of these two species, which are closely related within the Trifolieae tribe of the Fabaceae family. Six of the eight homoeologous chromosome groups (HGs) of allotetraploid white clover show predominant relationships with single M. truncatula (Mt) chromosomes, while the two remaining groups may have participated in an evolutionary reciprocal translocation event. On this basis, a new chromosome nomenclature system for allotetraploid white clover is proposed such that HG A = 3, HG B = 8, HG C = 7, HG D = 4, HG E = 1, HG F = 2, HG G = 5, and HG H = 6. A rationalized linkage map ordering system has also been demonstrated. Improved knowledge of the relationships between agricultural and model forage legume genomes will facilitate prediction of gene location for key agronomic traits for pasture production.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Chromosome Mapping
  • DNA, Plant / genetics
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Expressed Sequence Tags
  • Genome, Plant
  • Medicago truncatula / classification*
  • Medicago truncatula / genetics*
  • Minisatellite Repeats
  • Phylogeny
  • Polyploidy
  • Species Specificity
  • Terminology as Topic
  • Trifolium / classification*
  • Trifolium / genetics*


  • DNA, Plant