Annotating the genome of Medicago truncatula
Medicago truncatula will be among the first plant species to benefit from the completion of a whole-genome sequencing project. For each of these species, Arabidopsis, rice and now poplar and Medicago, annotation, the process of identifying gene structures and defining their functions, is essential for the research community to benefit from the sequence data generated. Annotation of the Arabidopsis genome involved gene-by-gene curation of the entire genome, but the larger genomes of rice, Medicago and other species necessitate the automation of the annotation process. Profiting from the experience gained from previous whole-genome efforts, a uniform set of Medicago gene annotations has been generated by coordinated international effort and, along with other views of the genome data, has been provided to the research community at several websites.