|Arabidopsis thaliana has emerged as the model organism of
choice for a wide rage of basic and applied research into plant
biology. This is largely due to the strength of Arabidopsis for
genetic approaches, and, with the completion of its genome sequence,
for genomic approaches as well. Our intention was to provide a simple
guide to the application of Arabidopsis genetics to studies of
plant biology. We hope that this volume will be a useful laboratory manual
for those new to Arabidopsis genetics, as well as a
reference for more established investigators when they require a
commonly used protocol with which they are not familiar.
We have organized the manual in the order that a typical project
proceeds. The early chapters cover growing Arabidopsis, identification
of mutants, and basic genetic analysis. Later chapters cover
phenotypic analyses, isolation of genes identified by mutations, and
methods for studying gene expression. Appendix 1 provides Internet
resources for the Arabidopsis community. We have concentrated
on methods that are widely used in the community, in an attempt to
provided a useful, yet affordable reference. We have not provided
protocols for a large number of basic molecular biology methods that
are not specific to Arabidopsis research. Readers, who are not
familiar with such methods should consult one of the many excellent
molecular biology manuals.
The idea of writing this manual grew out of our experiences
teaching the Arabidopsis summer course at Cold Spring Harbor
Laboratory. We thought that the manual for that course would be useful
for the wider community, but should be expanded to cover a broader
range of methods. Daphne Preuss was instrumental in the early stages
of planning and compiling the manual, and she contributed one of the
chapters as well as several protocols. Other protocols were provided
by us, members of our laboratories, or colleagues. We are very
grateful to all contributors, without whom this manual could not have
been produced. They are credited at the beginning of each protocol.
Many of these protocols have been widely used for a long time, and we
certainly do not pretend to have invented them, we merely wrote them
We are indebted to the excellent staff of Cold Spring Harbor Press.
Mark Curtis drew the figures, Siân
Curtis did a terrific job as developmental editor; making our text
suitable for publication, and production editor Dorothy Brown made it
into a book. Finally, without the persistence, patience, and
organization of Kaaren Janssen and Mary Cozza, this project would
never hve been completed.
We hope that investigators of Arabidopsis
will find this manual useful, and we welcome any feedback on the
improvement of the protocols or any mistakes in them.