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Looking at the stubborn seeds that had refused to germinate, it was clear that we would be repeating the experiment for the third time. The 360 sad, little Medicago truncatula seeds stared up at me from within their plastic tubes and refused to offer any usable data.
Plants need to eat to live. Their food commonly comes in the form of fertilizer. But the plants rarely finish their dinner. Excess washes away, wasting time and money as well as causing environmental concerns. Scientists are looking within the plants themselves to unlock their natural abilities to more efficiently use nutrients.
Plant scientists see the ways agriculture can be more environmentally friendly. They have ideas for tools to help farmers and ranchers. To solve some of the planet’s most pressing problems. And now they seek to overcome a philosophical division with a new vision in plant breeding.
Research using model species leads to fundamental discoveries in biology, and this holds true of our favorite model legume Medicago truncatula as well. Here’s a roundup of three noteworthy lessons we learned last year from international groups working on Medicago.
Researchers who study legumes have resources available to help them advance agriculture. Here are the top five resources made by and for the Medicago research community.