Growing Arabidopsis?

Ross Koning koning at ECSUC.CTSTATEU.EDU
Sun Aug 1 16:21:55 EST 1999

Getting the seeds to sprout on a simple mineral-
phytagel plate is easy (I have used MS salts and
Knopps with equal success).  The problem comes when
students try to move them to soil. The young seedlings
can take NO root-abuse in that stage. The problem here
was solved by letting the students move each seedling
with the phytagel INTACT...carving out a block that
included the root and planting the whole block.  Once
I figured that out, all my students had success with
their "mystery mutant" arabidopsis plants. To get the
seeds sown in the plates thinly enough I found that
a SMALL quantity of seeds in a microfuge tube are held
well on the walls of the tube by static electricity
(or other forces). This allows the student to tap
on the tube to release just one seed at a time and
get them spaced apart widely in the dish so that
root damage can be minimized at the transplant time.


At 12:58 PM -0400 7/29/99, Jon Monroe wrote:
>We grow Arabidopsis plants in 5" plastic pots.  Eight pots are held
>in 22" x 11" trays and 12 trays fit on a growth cart on wheels.  I've
>purchased all of these items from a place called Grower's Supply in
>Ann Arbor MI (313-426-5852).  Another source of Arabidopsis-specific
>growing supplies is Lehle Seeds (  I'm
>sure there are other good suppliers out there.  I fill the trays
>1/3-1/2 full with nutrient solution at planting and then add tap
>water when they run out - about every third day initially and almost
>every day when they get larger.
>I had the same problem with seedling death-for-no-apparent-reason
>earlier this year so I checked the archives of the Arabidopsis
>newsgroup ( and learned
>that this is a somewhat common problem!  No one appears to have has
>spent the time to figure out the cause, but the most frequent advice
>I saw was to switch soil brands.  I was using Pro-Mix BX when the
>problem started so I tried Sunshine Mix and MetroMix and plants grew
>normally on both of them.  Interestingly, people had the same problem
>with a variety of soil mixes so when it happens again I'll switch
>Hope this helps.
>>Does anyone have a good system for growing Arabidopsis?  Mine get to the
>>seedling stage but then die because I can't seem to keep them from getting
>>either too dry or too wet.
>>Dr. Robert R. Wise
>>Department of Biology
>>University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
>>Oshkosh, WI 54901
>>(920) 42403404
>>wise at
>  Jonathan D. Monroe           Associate Professor
>  Department of Biology       office: 540-568-6649
>  MSC 7801                       lab: 540-568-6045
>  James Madison University       fax: 540-568-3333
>  Harrisonburg, VA 22807   email: monroejd at

Ross Koning                 | koning at
Biology Department          |
Eastern CT State University | phone: 860-465-5327
Willimantic, CT 06226 USA   | fax: 860-465-4479

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