Growing Arabidopsis?

Grant R. Cramer cramer at UNR.EDU
Tue Aug 3 15:22:22 EST 1999

We grow ours at 400 µmole m-2 s-1. In our hydroponic system we do not get 
anthocyanin development in either Columbia or Ler. However, one of my
colleagues who waters plants from the bottom up in pots and trays often sees
anthocyanin development (at low light levels). I consider this to be a
stress response most likely due to flooding stress (but this is purely
observational) since the pots are sitting in a layer of water and the root
tips are probably anaerobic.
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/

>From: "Julia Frugoli" <jfrugoli at>
>To: "Grant R. Cramer" <cramer at>, plant-ed at
>Subject: Re: Growing Arabidopsis?
>Date: Tue, Aug 3, 1999, 8:40 AM

>>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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