Lotus japonicus can be seen in wild throughout Asian temperate zones. Since it adapts to various environmental conditions,
it is thought to possess a broad range of genetic variations.
The strains of which we Legume Base
currently maintain and distribute are those unified accession numbers had been given by Aoki (Nihon Univ.) since 1998. As of Dec. 2004,
the number of strains we have counts 91, collected from Hokkaido to Okinawa.
These strains were collected mainly on two purposes; one is to evaluate the potential as a pasture by Shimada (Obihiro Univ. of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine)
in 1979 and the Gene Bank Project of the Ministry of Agriculture,
Forestry and Fisheries of Japan in 1981. The other purpose was to assess the possibility of this plant species as a model organism of leguminous plants by Kawaguchi
(The Univ. Tokyo) and Aoki since 1996.
Morphological and ecological evaluations of some of the strains have been performed by Itaya (1982) and Suginobu et al (1988).
Itaya has found by comparing 16 strains that strains from cold area are highly resistant to low temperature and their growth is repressed in fall,
whereas those from warm area grow vigorously throughout the seasons. Suginobu et al. compared 66 strains and found that leaves and stems of strains from
high latitudes are colored purple and the plant body tends to grow heavier, while those from higher sea level grow short, lighter and exhibit late flowering feature.
This database provides information on collected places and the weather conditions, as well as data on morphology evaluated at Miyazaki
(N. L. 31 ° , Long. 131° E) and Sapporo (N. L. 43 ° , Long. 141° E). Also, updated data on polymorphisms accumulated from Simple Sequence Repeat (SSR) markers will be available.