As part of the European Scientists Sequencing Arabidopsis program, a contiguous region (396607 bp) located on chromosome 4 around the APETALA2 gene was sequenced. Analysis of the sequence and comparison to public databases predicts 103 genes in this area, which represents a gene density of one gene per 3.85 kb. Almost half of the genes show no significant homology to known database entries. In addition, the first 45 kb of the contig, which covers 11 genes, is similar to a region on chromosome 2, as far as coding sequences are concerned. This observation indicates that ancient duplications of large pieces of DNA have occurred in Arabidopsis.