Using Arabidopsis in the Lab

Resource

Arabidopsis is the ‘lab rat’ of the plant biology world, an astonishingly popular model organism for researchers in a wide range of fields. It was the  first plant to have its entire genome sequenced, and as such, is of particular interest to molecular biologists and geneticists.

Arabidopsis seeds are available free for schools. There are a few tricks to getting arabidopsis to grow well in a lab setting, which we will add to this page shortly.

Teaching Topics

Kits for the following are available free for schools from the National Arabidopsis Stock Centre (see below)/

  • Inheritance
  • Variation
  • Gravitropism
  • Phototropisms and photoreceptors
  • Germination

Description

Thale cress, Arabadopsis thaliana

A small annual flowering plant with a short life-cycle, Arabidopsis is a popular model organism widely used by biologists and geneticists in their research. It has a particularly small genome and was the first plant to have its entire genome sequenced, making it a popular tool for developing our understanding of molecular biology.

A number of interesting (non-GM) mutants have been identified, which can be used in school labs for students to carry out their own research investigations.

Arabidopsis is a member of the Brassicaceae, the cabbage family.

Growing and sourcing

ObtainingTeaching packs of Arabidopsis seeds showing various interesting natural mutations are available free for schools from the National Arabadopsis Stock Centre (NASC).

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