About SSP Project in Medicago truncatula

Medicago truncatula is non-crop model legume species, and is closely related to alfalfa. Legumes are key components of sustainable agricultural systems because they form symbioses with bacteria that help the nitrogen fixation and reduces the need for nitrogen fertilizers.

Small Secreted Peptides (SSPs) are an important class of regulatory molecules in plants involved in developmental processes, nutrient acquisition, and stress responses.

The main objective of this project is to identify macronutrient-responsive SSPs, and novel SSPs that control root and nodule development in M. truncatula and other species. By taking a genome-wide approach to determining the roles of uncharacterized SSPs, this project will advance our currently knowledge of this class of important regulatory molecules in plants.


The MtSSPdb is available at http://mtsspdb.noble.org/, and includes the SSP Gene Expression Atlas (SSP-GEA) with large scale genome data from RNA-seq experiments with Mt re-annotated genes, SSP-coding genes and families, annotation information, peptide library and multiple tools. MtSSPdb is the first database in plants to integrate small peptide information and gene expression data, and to provide a detailed synthetic peptide library describing small synthetic peptides tested for root and nodule-related traits.


May 2019. A new paper from our group was published in Current Protocols in Plant Biology - "Identification and Functional Investigation of Genomeā€Encoded, Small, Secreted Peptides in Plants" by Boschiero C, Lundquist PK, Roy S, Dai X, Zhao PX, Scheible WR.