Medical Definition of Arabidopsis thaliana genome

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Reviewed on 12/11/2018

Arabidopsis thaliana genome: All of the genetic information contained in Arabidopsis thaliana, a plant belonging to the mustard family.

The genomes of particular nonhuman organisms such as Arabidopsis have been studied for a number of reasons including the need to improve sequencing and analysis techniques. These nonhuman genomes also provide powerful sets of data against which to compare the human genome.

For example, Arabidopsis uses a chemical, glutamate, much as it is used in the human brain. The plant has genes that encode for glutamate receptors. In the human brain, glutamate acts as a chemical messenger, playing a role in acquiring and storing memories, and possibly contributing to certain mental health ailments. Glutamate also acts as a messenger in plants, communicating the presence of light and regulating light-dependent processes.

The Arabidopsis genome has been found to have 100 million base pairs to date and is estimated to have 25,000 genes to date. The sequencing of this genome was still in progress as of June 2000.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018