Medicago

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Crimaea Vassilcz.[1]
Factorovskya Eig[1]
Kamiella Vassilcz.[1]
Lupulina Noulet[1]
Medica Mill.[1]
Pseudomelissitus Ovcz. et al.[1]
Radiata Medik.[1]
Rhodusia Vassilcz.[1]
Turukhania Vassilcz.[1]

Medicago (family: Fabaceae, the legume family) is a genus of flowering plants, commonly known as medick or burclover. The name is based on Latin medica 'alfalfa, lucerne,' from Greek: μηδική (πόα) 'Median (grass).'[2]

The best known member of the genus is alfalfa (also called lucerne) (M. sativa), an important crop[3]. The species Medicago truncatula is a model legume[4] due to its relatively small stature, genome (450–500Mb), short generation time (~3 months) and ability to reproduce both by outcrossing and selfing.

The Medicago genus contains 83 species, including the agriculturally important alfalfa (M. sativa), and is distributed mainly around the Mediterranean basin. Comprehensive descriptions of the genus are Lesinš and Lesinš 1979[5] and Small and Jomphe 1989[6]. Major collections are SARDI (Australia)[7], USDA-GRIN (USA)[8], ICARDA (Syria)[9], and the INRA collection in Montpellier (France)[10]. Several molecular phylogenies containing most of the species are available, although they differ.[11][12]

Most members of the family are low, creeping herbs. However, alfalfa grows to a height of 1 meter, and tree medick (M. arborea) is a shrub.

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