We added a new page to this blog to show how basic Arabidopsis research works. This is for anyone who is on the periphery of plant molecular biology but doesn’t work directly on Arabidopsis thaliana – teachers, undergraduates, environmental scientists … whoever.
To go with the new page, here is a time-lapse video of growing Arabidopsis thaliana plants. Although it is a little out-of focus at the beginning, I chose it to show you because it shows how frustrating Arabidopsis research can be! At around 1.20, the plant on the left starts to bolt, which is when the stem begins to grow. It grows so quickly after all those days of watching the rosette leaves get bigger. The plant on the right, which has the same size rosette, doesn’t start to bolt until about 1.34 – it probably won’t catch up with the first plant until they both have siliques that are drying out. Developmental stage is important in a lot of experiments, so it is often necessary to grow far more plants than you expect to use so that you have a good selection of plants at the same growth stage when you start the experiment.