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Human Genome News Archive Edition

Human Genome News, September 1990; 2(3)

NSF Announces Interagency Agreement To Map Plant Genome

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has concluded an agreement with three other federal agencies to coordinate research efforts in the area of basic plant genetics using Arabidopsis thaliana as a model system. NSF will work with the NIH National Center for Human Genome Research (NCHGR); the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Science and Education, U.S. Department of Agriculture; and the DOE Office of Basic Energy Sciences.

Many researchers have adopted the simple weed, Arabidopsis, as a model in the study of plant biochemistry, genetics, and physiology. NSF will now lead efforts to map and sequence the genes of this plant, which can be genetically engineered to incorporate genes from economically important plants.

Arabidopsis is popular as a model because it undergoes the same processes of growth, development, flowering, and reproduction as higher plants, yet its genome has about 30 times less DNA than a corn or human genome and very little repetitive DNA. The smaller genome makes Arabidopsis easier to study, as does its prolific seed production and 5- to 6-week generation cycle.

A Long-Range Plan for the Multinational Coordinated Arabidopsis thaliana Genome Research Project was published in August and is available through NSF.


For more information on the Arabidopsis genome project, contact:

  • Machi Dilworth
    NSF Division of Instrumentation and Resources
    1800 G Street, N.W.
    Room 312
    Washington, DC 20550
    (202) 357-9880

HGMIS Staff

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Human Genome Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Human Genome News (v2n3).

Human Genome Project 1990–2003

The Human Genome Project (HGP) was an international 13-year effort, 1990 to 2003. Primary goals were to discover the complete set of human genes and make them accessible for further biological study, and determine the complete sequence of DNA bases in the human genome. See Timeline for more HGP history.

Human Genome News

Published from 1989 until 2002, this newsletter facilitated HGP communication, helped prevent duplication of research effort, and informed persons interested in genome research.