The annual legume species Medicago truncatula, or barrel medic, has been chosen by a growing group of investigators as a model genetic organism for the analysis of development during microbial interactions and other aspects of legume biology (Cook et al. 1997; Cook 1999). The increasing numbers of genes obtained by cloning and those distinguished by mutation and ecotypic variation necessitate an organized approach to gene nomenclature in this species.
Discussions among participants at the 1999 Medicago truncatula meeting in Amsterdam led to the establishment of a policy for gene nomenclature for the species. The policy was drafted by Julia Frugoli and Kate VandenBosch. After incorporation of comments by investigators in the field, the policy was published in Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions. A summary of the policy is linked, as well as the journal article itself.
A steering committee has been established for the M. truncatula research community. The original committee appointed Julia Frugoli to serve as gene curator. The responsibilities of the curator are to maintain the gene list on a public web site, and and to curate the gene names registered by members of the community.