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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Transcriptional profiling of Medicago truncatula meristematic root cells

Peta Holmes1, Nicolas Goffard12, Georg F Weiller1, Barry G Rolfe1 and Nijat Imin1*

Author Affiliations

1 ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrative Legume Research, Genomic Interactions Group, Research School of Biological Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

2 Institut Louis Malardé, GP Box 30, 98713 Papeete Tahiti, French Polynesia

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BMC Plant Biology 2008, 8:21  doi:10.1186/1471-2229-8-21

Published: 27 February 2008



The root apical meristem of crop and model legume Medicago truncatula is a significantly different stem cell system to that of the widely studied model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana. In this study we used the Affymetrix Medicago GeneChip® to compare the transcriptomes of meristem and non-meristematic root to identify root meristem specific candidate genes.


Using mRNA from root meristem and non-meristem we were able to identify 324 and 363 transcripts differentially expressed from the two regions. With bioinformatics tools developed to functionally annotate the Medicago genome array we could identify significant changes in metabolism, signalling and the differentially expression of 55 transcription factors in meristematic and non-meristematic roots.


This is the first comprehensive analysis of M. truncatula root meristem cells using this genome array. This data will facilitate the mapping of regulatory and metabolic networks involved in the open root meristem of M. truncatula and provides candidates for functional analysis.