Arabidopsis Genome: A Milestone in Plant Biology

"What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered." Ralph Waldo Emerson's observation takes on a special resonance this month as the plant biology community celebrates the completion of the Arabidopsis genome project. In the painting that graces the
cover of theDecember Arabidopsis Special Issue of Plant Physiology(courtesy of Dr. Chris Somerville), the artist,
Janet Wehr, captures the understated beauty of this weed-no-longer,which has, by virtue of its diminutive size, small genome, and brief life cycle, become a giant of science.

Because of its small size, predilection to self-pollinate, quick generation time, and copious production of tiny seeds, Arabidopsis thaliana has become the most powerful genetic and genomic model system in plant biology. The amount of research on Arabidopsis grew
from a trickle in the 1970s and 1980s to a steadily increasing flood in the 1990s. The completion of the Arabidopsis genome sequence this month is the culmination of a remarkable decade of worldwide growth and collaboration, and will
no doubt stimulate even more Arabidopsis-related work. Evidence of the healthy state of cooperation in Arabidopsis functional genomics is presented in this month's special issue of Plant Physiology, which is solely devoted to Arabidopsis and is free onlinefrom December 14 until the end of January. In this issue, six solicited articles are devoted to "Resources and Opportunities" for Arabidopsis genome research. The purpose of these articles is not only to make widely known what public resources are available, but also to recognize the significant contributions of a number of dedicated individuals. Specific articles are devoted to the seed and molecular resources for Arabidopsis, the Arabidopsis genome project, the Arabidopsis Gene-Chip project, the Arabidopsis microarray project, the Arabidopsis knockout facility, and the Arabidopsis Information Service. This issue also contains 28 research articles, 4 Scientific Correspondence articles,and 4 Updates, all concerning Arabidopsis-related work. The Plant Physiology editorialboardand staff hope very much that many of you will take a moment of your time and read this free issue:

Thank you very much indeed,

Natasha Raikhel
Editor-in-Chief of Plant Physiology

Plant Physiology
is published by the American Society of Plant Physiologists.



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