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Human Genome News Archive Edition

Human Genome News, March 1992; 3(6)

Arabidopsis Project Reports Success

The science steering committee of the Multinational Coordinated Arabidopsis thaliana Genome Research Project reported "remarkable progress" in first-year accomplishments. Researchers expanded by 36% the number of known genetic markers for the plant, due in part to new techniques for singling out, identifying, mapping, and moving genes. More than 200 new mutations were identified and associated with genes controlling embryo development, metabolism, reproduction, photosynthetic capacity, and resistance to disease.

A small flowering plant belonging to the Brassica family (and related to cabbages, cauliflowers, and brussel sprouts), Arabidopsis undergoes the same processes of growth, development, flowering, and reproduction as other plants. With about 30 times less DNA than a corn or human genome and very little repetitive DNA, the plant's smaller genome, prolific seed production, tolerance for growing in high densities, and 5- to 6-week reproduction cycle make Arabidopsis a popular model in the study of plant biochemistry, genetics, and physiology.

Investigators hope to identify and characterize all the genes and sequence the entire Arabidopsis genome by the year 2000, an achievement that would lead to a much deeper understanding of all flowering plants and have the potential to modify economically important crops.

Mosaic is the National Science Foundation (NSF) magazine of current work and thought in research areas with which NSF is concerned. An article by Ben Patrusky on the plant and Arabidopsis genome project appeared in the summer 1991 issue of Mosaic. Subscription information: United States, $9.50 (yearly), $3.00 (single copy); other countries, $11.90 and $3.75. [Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402.]

Current and future reports of the science steering committee are available from

  • Machi Dilworth
    NSF Division of Instrumentation and Resources
    1800 G Street, NW, Room 312
    Washington, DC 20550
    202/357-7652, Fax: 202/357-7568

NSF Funds Ohio State Arabidopsis Resource Center

NSF announced in September 1991 the award of up to $1.9 million over 5 years to Ohio State University to establish a resource center for Arabidopsis genome studies. The center will collect, preserve, and distribute seeds, genetic probes, and other resources for the rapidly expanding community of investigators studying the plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Randy Scholl, Associate Professor of Molecular Genetics, directs the center (614/292-1982, Fax: 614/292-0603; Internet:

Establishment of the center was one of the priorities of the Multinational Coordinated Arabidopsis thaliana Genome Research Project. The U.S. center at Ohio State coordinates its activities with the seed center at the University of Nottingham, England, and with the DNA clone center at the Max Planck Institute in Cologne, Germany.

An additional grant of about $300,000 over 5 years was made to Michigan State University to develop a comprehensive computerized database management system for online access to information about resources at the Ohio State center. The Michigan State project, which is partly funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Office of Plant Genome Research, is headed by Sakti Pramanik (517/353-3177, Fax: 517/336-1061; Internet:


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Human Genome Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Human Genome News (v3n6).

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.