The growing of the Arabidopsis plant, known to be the subject of several research studies, is strongly influenced by climatic conditions. With the right suggestions and environmental conditions, optimal results are achieved. Read on to discover the best way to grow Arabidopsis thaliana.
What is Arabidopsis thaliana?
Arabidopsis thaliana was the first plant with sequenced genome, in fact it is one of the most studied plants in scientific research. Arabidopsis thaliana is a small plant with white flowers originating from the Eurasia area.
How to Grow Arabidopsis in Lab
The Arabidopsis grows in different environments, for example: greenhouses, growth chambers and environmental chambers, outdoors or illuminated shelves. If the growth method is correctly applied and the maintenance plan is carefully followed, the plant will grow quickly. Furthermore, a requirement for accurate research is also recreating a plant-friendly environment.
The Perfect Growing Environment for Arabidopsis: how long does Arabidopsis take to grow?
After three or five days of sowing, most seeds germinate. With a continuous nutrition of light, water and an approximate temperature level of 23° C, the first flowers can be expected within four to five weeks and the seeds are harvested in eight to ten weeks.
It is expected that environmental conditions in natural habitats create different phenotypes compared to a recreated environment. It is important to keep this in mind, when studying the differences between them.
There are several ways to assist the Arabidopsis in its growth from the photoperiod point of view. The most recommended intensity is 120-150 μmol / m2sec, although it may sometimes require more. However, the symptom of excessive illumination is the purple coloring of the leaves. This is a stress condition that can lead to the death of the plant.
The ideal temperature for Arabidopsis growth is at most 22-23° C. It is recommended not to exceed the recommended temperature range for this plant and also not to go below 16° C, especially in the early growth stages. Older Arabidopsis thaliana plants, which have passed the "rosette" phase, can withstand heat better than younger plants. But tendentially, at lower temperatures, these plants are known to enter a vegetative state that delays flowering. Some annual winter variations of the plant, however, require a period of cold to begin the flowering process. Many of the young plants, usually between 2 and 4 weeks old, need to be placed at 4° C for one or two months, to speed up the flowering process.
Mantaining a uniform humidity around 50-60% is optimal for healthy plant growth. Relative humidity is a determining factor for the water needs of the plant in question. If relative humidity is too high, above 90%, the most probable result is the sterility of the plant. Some growers use low relative humidity, less than 50%, to reach silique ripeness.
Customized Plant Growth Chambers
The growth chambers, provide a perfect environment for the Arabidopsis thaliana. They allow controlling the photoperiod, the temperature, the intensity of the light and often also humidity. Growth chambers can be equipped with controlled temperature, with variable ventilation, air conditioning and customized growth conditions. Greenhouses, on the other hand, can offer such services but are exposed to higher temperature deviations due to exposure to sunlight. If the structure used for the growth of Arabidopsis has also been previously used with another species, it has to be thoroughly cleaned, to avoid the use of pesticides or the loss of healthy plants, due to infestations or parasites.
Conservation of Arabidopsis seeds
The small seeds of Arabidopsis rehydrate very quickly when exposed to any source of high humidity. If they deteriorate, they lose vigor and if the process is not stopped, they lose the ability to germinate. The correlation between humidity, temperature and other unknown factors of cellular order, determine the "aging" of the seeds. Arabidopsis thaliana seeds have historically shown resistance and vitality for long periods of storage if the conditions are correctly maintained.
When the seeds are exposed to environmental relative humidity and at ambient temperature, they lose their vitality over a period of about two years. However, if temperature is between 4°C and -20°C, the dried seeds can be stored for decades and remain as vigorous as on the first day. The humidity of the controlled chamber at 4° C for storage should be between 20 and 30%, to ensure that the seeds are not rehydrated. If the goal is to preserve the seeds for longer periods of time (more than five years), recommended conditions are temperatures below zero and a maximum of 20% relative humidity.
The case just described, relating to the Arabidopsis thaliana plant, is only one of the several examples about the optimal management of the crops, obtainable through a growth chamber.