Growing Arabidopsis?

Julia Frugoli jfrugoli at BIO.TAMU.EDU
Tue Aug 3 10:42:27 EST 1999

>Actually your light conditions are way too low (which is what most people 
>grow them at). Light saturation for photosynthesis in Arabidopsis occurs at
>about 600 µmol m-2 sec-1. See Eckardt et al. (1997) Plant Physiol
>113:575-586 for the data.
>Grant R. Cramer
>Associate Professor
>Mail Stop 200
>Department of Biochemistry
>University of Nevada
>Reno, NV 89557
>phone: (775) 784-4204
>fax: (775) 784-1650
>email: cramer at
>web page: http://BIOCHEM.MED.UNR.EDU/faculty/grant_c/

You mentioned you were interested in stress-I suspect if you grow
Arabidopsis at 600 µmol m-2 sec-1 that's what you'll get.  My graduate work
involved an experiment in high light level stress and looking at the
induction of  my favorite Arabidopsis gene under these conditions.  At 300
µmol m-2 sec-1 I got lovely anthocyanin production and stunted growth in
both the Columbia and Lansberg ecotypes (I hear Ws is less sensitive, but I
can't vouch for it).  I vaguely remember the Eckart paper, and I'm not sure
if they were using a flat light meter versus a radial one, which might
account for a high reading, or if they were using an ecotype not commonly
used, but if you're having trouble with Arbidopsis, growing it under high
light is NOT where you want to start.  In my hands, the only troubles I had
in 7 years of growing "the weed" was (1) too much light and (2) thrips or
fungal gnats.  That's not to say it can't be tricky-I know a faculty member
from a prominent Arabidopsis lab who had real trouble setting up his own
lab-it was in another part of the country, and growing Arabidopsis in the
greenhouse, as they'd done in the big lab, killed it in his new location. 
Makes me wonder how it survives as a weed.....

Julia Frugoli
Department of Plant Pathology & Microbiology
Texas A&M University
Southern Crop Improvement Facility MS#2123
College Station, TX 77843
phone 409-862-3495
FAX 409-862-4790

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