Medicago sativa

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  • Cultivated alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is a major forage legume grown extensively worldwide. This perennial species has a tetraploid (2n = 4x = 32) genome which displays tetrasomic inheritance and its populations are extremely polymorphic due to a high degree of outcrossing. Superior tolerance to environmental stress and decline in stem digestibility during plant development are major issues for alfalfa breeding programs.
  • Insufficient tolerance to subfreezing temperatures reduces long term persistence of alfalfa in northern countries and is a source of major costs associated with stands reestablishment and the need to buy forage outside the farm.Lignin deposition in maturing stems significantly interferes with the release of simple sugars from the cellulose and hemi-cellulose fiber fraction and causes a significant decline in feed value.
  • Alfalfa holds the distinction of being the oldest forage crop for which we have a name, yet the etymology of the word is uncertain. It may have arisen from modifications of the Persian aspo-asti (horse fodder), the Arabic al-fasfasa or the Kashmiri ashwa-bal (both meaning horse power). Some have speculated that the name most commonly used in Europe, "lucerne," may derive from the Persian word läjwärd for lapis lazuli, the ultramarine blue mineral lazurite, in reference to the blue flowers of Medicago sativa—one of the two species, with M. falcata, known as alfalfa. [1] [2].

Different Environmental & Developmental Regulation

Reference Genes

Gene Symbol Gene Name Application Scope Accession Number Primers (5'-3')
Size [bp] Tm [℃] Detection
UBL-2a[1] Ubiquitin protein ligase 2a
  • Universal reference gene
108 80.5 SYBR
ADF[1] Actin depolymerizing factor
  • Universal reference gene
183 81.4 SYBR
Rer1[1] Retention in endoplasmic reticulum 1 protein
  • Universal reference gene
165 78.9 SYBR

Moleculer Types

  • mRNA

Evaluation Methods


  • Name: Yves Castonguay
  • Email:
  • Institution: Soils and Crops Research and Development Center, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Québec, Canada

Citation Statistics

Cited by 5 (Based on Google Scholar [2017-06-01])


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Castonguay Y, Michaud J, Dubé M-P (2015) Reference Genes for RT-qPCR Analysis of Environmentally and Developmentally Regulated Gene Expression in Alfalfa. American Journal of Plant Sciences 06, 132-143.
  2. Russelle, M.P. (2001) Alfalfa. American Scientist, 89, 252-261.