Arabidopsis Research Support Organizations

Researchers working with a model plant like Arabidopsis thaliana have the advantage of a well developed resource network that has grown up around plant research.

An example of this is The Arabidopsis Information Resource (TAIR). TAIR is a nonprofit organization that maintains an information library and database of Arabidopsis genetic and molecular biology. Another important resource is the Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center (ABRC) at The Ohio State University who collects, preserves, reproduces and distributes diverse Arabidopsis thaliana seed stocks.

The advantages of organized support from not-for-profit research organizations like TAIR and ABRC for genomic research is enormous. A recent event at the Wyatt Lab illustrates this. When the team working on the gps2 mutant project  identified a gene that appeared to be responsible for the mutants phenotypical response to GPS treatment, the team needed to find a wild type (WT) seed with a single gene (the candidate gene) knocked out (or silenced). In the past, finding seed stock with the single candidate gene silenced with the rest of the 28,000 genes intact and matching the WT genome was a needle-in-a-haystack proposition. Today, researchers consult TAIR to locate a supplier or lab who can provide seed stock matching their requirements.

The ability to search one place to reference all the research and collected information relating to a candidate gene, as well as locate and procure diverse seed stock from suppliers and labs globally is an enormous help for researchers at the Wyatt Lab working as quickly as they can to discover the genes controlling plant signaling.