Genome: Arabidopsis thaliana

Mousear Cress (Arabidopsis thaliana).

Scientific Name
Arabidopsis thaliana
Common Name
Mousear Cress


A. thaliana is in flower from April to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile. Arabidopsis thaliana is used widely in experiments on plants because it short-lived, grows very quickly, is small in physical size and has a relatively small genome. It is the most widely studied plant today with over 11,000 researchers and 4,000 organizations around the world generating information and materials.


Arabidopsis thaliana is small weedy plant (mustard weed) that was originally native to Europe, but can now be found in the United States, N. Africa and temperate Asia to Japan. The plant will grow in light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils that are acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade and in dry or moist soil. It is related to broccoli and cauliflower.

Sequencing Plan

Scientists have sequenced the complete genetic material of Arabidopsis thaliana. The international Arabidopsis Genome Initiative (AGI) consortium published the results and early analyses in the December 14, 2000, issue of Nature. The AGI consisted of a collaboration of research groups in the United States, Europe, and Japan, and was funded by government agencies on three continents. U.S. research was supported in large part by Department of Energy's Office of Basic Energy Sciences, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Science Foundation (NSF). -- Adapted from