How to grow Arabidopsis thaliana

Growing Arabidopsis plant is highly influenced by climatic conditions but with some pro tips and the correct controlled conditions, you can get awesome results. Read on to find out the best method to grow Arabidopsis thaliana.

What is Arabidopsis thaliana plant?

Arabidopsis thaliana was the first plant to have the genome sequenced because it is a rare case of a small one of approximately Mbp (Megabase pairs). Other than that, Arabidopsis thaliana is a small plant with white flowers that is native to the Eurasia zone.


Arabidopsis growth

The Arabidopsis can be grown in a wide variety of mediums like greenhouses, growth chambers and rooms, outdoors and in lighted shelves. If the growth method is properly applied and the maintenance plan is carefully followed, it enables the plant to produce seeds at a high rate. Also, it is considered a requisite for reproducible and accurate research.

Arabidopsis plant growth conditions

After three to five days of being planted, the seeds of most lines germinate. In a continuous lighting, water and nutrition and an approximate temperature level of 23°C, the first flowers can be expected within four to five weeks and seed harvesting in eight to ten weeks.

It is expected that environmental conditions in natural habitats create different phenotypes than in recreated ambient situations. It is important to bear this in mind when studying differences between them.

Specific light

There are various ways to assist the Arabidopsis in its growth from a photoperiod point of view.  The most recommended intensity is 120-150 µmol/m2sec. Although it can take more power, they might start to show purple leaves as a sign of too much light as one of the determining stress conditions that can lead to death.

Optimum temperature

The optimum temperature for the Arabidopsis to grow at its best is 22-23°C. It is not recommended to exceed the temperature range for Arabidopsis nor should temperatures dip below 16°C, especially in the early stages of growth. Older plants, which have passed the Rosette stage are able to withstand heat better than younger plants. At lower temperatures the plants are known to enter a vegetative state which delays flowering. Certain winter-annual variations of the plant, however, do require a period of cold in order to initiate the flowering process. Many of the young rosettes usually aged between 2 and 4 weeks, of the winter variations of the plant require being placed at 4°C for one to two months to accelerate the flowering process.


Keeping humidity uniform at around 50-60% is optimum for healthy plant growth. The relative humidity is a crucial influencer for the plant´s water needs. If the relative humidity is too high, above 90%, the most likely result is plant sterility. Some growers utilize low relative humidity, below 50% to achieve silique maturation.

Custom plant growth rooms

In most commercial growth facilities, it is easy to precisely control photoperiod, temperature, light intensity and often humidity too. Standard rooms can be equipped with additional temperature, ventilation, air conditioning, and lightning supplement growing conditions but are not as accurate as custom rooms. Greenhouses, on the other hand, can offer such services but are exposed to higher temperature deviations because of sunlight exposure. If the facility that is to be used for the growth of Arabidopsis was used with another species before, it would have to be cleaned to zero to avoid the use of pesticides or the loss of healthy plants because of infestation or pest.

Preservation of Arabidopsis seeds

The Arabidopsis small seeds rehydrate in a very rapid manner when they are exposed to any source of high humidity. If they happen to deteriorate, they lose vigor and if the process is not stopped, they lose the ability to germinate at all. The correlation between moisture, temperature and other unknown factors of cellular order determine the ´aging´ of the seeds. Seeds from Arabidopsis lines historically showed strength and viability for long periods of storage if the conditions are properly maintained.

When the seeds are exposed at the ambient relative humidity and at room temperature, they lose viability in approximately a span of two years. However, if the temperature is of 4°C to -20°C, the dried seeds can be stored for decades and remain as vigorous as the first day. The humidity of the 4°C controlled-room for storage should be somewhere between 20-30% to ensure seeds are not rehydrated. If the goal is to store the seeds for longer periods of time (more than five years), sub-zero temperature and a maximum of 20% relative humidity.

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